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Girl whose life devastated by jaundice failures to receive multi-million pound care
A seven-year-old girl who suffered catastrophic brain damage after a catalogue of failings at a Reading hospital is set to receive a multi-million pound care package following court approval today of an agreement reached between legal teams.
The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs, is deaf and has global developmental delay due to a type of severe and permanent brain damage called kernicterus that she sustained as a newborn at Royal Berkshire Hospital.
The youngster was still in hospital when she developed jaundice. However, despite being surrounded by doctors and nurses this was allowed to spiral out of control until her brain was permanently damaged.
She will require very specialist 24-hour care for the rest of her life and will never be able to work for a living or live independently. She is severely physically disabled, cannot walk unaided and struggles to communicate which has caused a learning disability.
An investigation by specialist solicitors at law firm JMW revealed that vital checks on her jaundice were not done and treatment was therefore delayed until her condition was critical.
After an ongoing legal battle by JMW, in August 2019 the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust accepted liability for her injuries on an 82.5 per cent basis. This means that when her case finally settles she will receive compensation worth 82.5 per cent of the full value of her case which will run into several millions due to the extent of her disabilities.
Angharad Hughes, a brain injury specialist at JMW Solicitors, who is representing the girl and her family, commented: “Our case has always centered on the failures by the trust’s staff to carry out basic checks on the child, which in a specialist hospital setting is absolutely appalling. Severe jaundice in newborns is completely treatable but it requires regular monitoring which in this case, and many others JMW has dealt with, wasn’t done.
“The girl’s family finds it very difficult to accept that their child’s life has been affected in such a severe way, particularly when they repeatedly raised concerns about the increasing severity of her jaundice.
“They feel haunted by what happened and the fact that the trust has denied any culpability for so many year has undoubtedly added to their distress.
“However now we have finally reached an agreement which is acceptable to the family and will help to provide the lifelong care she requires they feel an enormous sense of relief.”
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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.