Negligent treatment at time of birth leading to cerebral palsy

This matter was funded by Legal Aid and involved the mismanagement of KG’s birth. KG’s mother attended the hospital on the 28th October 1990 at 8.00am experiences abdominal pain at 34 weeks. She was admitted and some observations were carried out but very few over a 12 hour period despite having regular contractions.

Unfortunately KG’s condition deteriorated and he was born by emergency caesarean section, had low apgar scores and was very unwell however, made a good recovery. He was discharged from hospital after 3 weeks and his parents were told that KG would not have any significant health problems. However KG’s parents noticed that his development was slow and at 2 years of age an MRI was undertaken which showed the KG was suffering from periventricular leukomalacia. He was also described as having a clumsy gait with learning disabilities with autistic elements.

A significant amount of investigation had to be undertaken to establish whether KG’s brain injury was a result of breach of duty and delays preceding his birth or whether it was due to his prematurity, being born at 34 weeks.

We obtained evidence from a Consultant Neurologist, a Neo-natologist and a Paediatric Neuro-radiologist who was able to establish that on the balance of probabilities had KG been appropriately managed and if delivery was earlier then this would have avoided the totality of KG’s brain damage.

Proceedings were issued and the defendant admitted liability and thereafter focus on the form of award and the case turned to quantum valuation which involved experts from the following disciplines:
Care, OT, accommodation, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, assistive technology, educational psychologist. Unfortunately the defendants were not prepared to negotiate a settlement on a reasonable basis and therefore the case only settled one week prior to a full quantum trial listed for 10 days. A settlement was reached for a lump sum and periodical payments with a total value of £6,762,250.00

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