£22.3 million awarded to severely disabled youngster failed by medical staff

12 December 2018

An eleven-year-old girl who sustained brain injury at birth has today been awarded a £22.3 million care package to cover the cost of the life-long specialist assistance she requires. .

The youngster, who was born in 2007 at St John Hospital Essex and cannot be identified for legal reasons, has cerebral palsy and severe leaning difficulties. Her brain was starved of oxygen for between 15-20 minutes during her birth as a result of the repeated misinterpretation of the heart rate monitor and the failure to realise she was in distress by the maternity staff responsible for her birth.

She will always need assistance in all the activities of daily living, will remain dependent on others into adulthood, will be unable to live alone, manage her own affairs, earn a living and has been deprived of the capacity to have her own family.

The High Court in London today approved the compensation figure to be paid to her to cover the cost of her current and future care and was negotiated by specialist clinical negligence solicitors at law firm JMW Solicitors.

The settlement marks the end of a long fight for justice, not only for the youngster but also for her mother, who has not only suffered tremendous loss and grief, but who has seen the course of her own life changed. The negligence of those caring for her resulted in the relinquishment of her own hopes and ambitions and the ability to create the life she had envisioned for herself and her elder daughter, as well as her youngest child. In 11 years, the family have enjoyed just three short family holidays - simple visits to nearby caravan parks - as a result of the complexity of the child’s care needs.

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust admitted in 2014 that mistakes had been made but denied they caused her brain damage. However after ongoing negotiations by JMW the trust accepted liability on an 85 per cent split basis in 2016.

Melissa Gardner, a partner in JMW’s specialist medical negligence team, who is representing the youngster in her legal battle, said: “This is a tragic case that was wholly avoidable - yet again we’re seeing CTG traces being misinterpreted, for which this family are paying an awful price. Injuries like this don’t just affect the individual, but the entire family.

“The standard of care provided was wholly inadequate and resulted in devastating consequences - the reality is, no amount of money will ever fully compensate her for the effect this has had on both her own life and that of her family.

“What this settlement does mean is she will be able to access the appropriate level of therapy, assistance and support, with excellent care and the right equipment to make her life as comfortable as possible, while removing financial worries that have beset her mother in the years since the extent of her injuries became apparent. This is about quality of life.”

Ends

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelly Hindle or Samantha Meakin on the details below:

Kelly Hindle

D. 0161 828 1868

E. Kelly.hindle@jmw.co.uk

Samantha Meakin

Samantha.meakin@jmw.co.uk

Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.

JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading clinical negligence lawyer, Eddie Jones.

http://www.jmw.co.uk/services-for-you/clinical-negligence/

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