Case study: JMW secures £6.4 million for boy left brain damaged due to negligence

JMW’s clinical negligence solicitors have successfully secured £6.4 million in compensation for an eight-year-old boy who was brain damaged at birth due to medical negligence.
 
A boy who suffered severe brain damage as a result of medical negligence during his birth at an NHS birth centre was awarded £6.4 million in compensation. Theo’s case was taken on by Eddie Jones, partner and head of clinical negligence at JMW Solicitors. Eddie secured an admission of negligence from the trust responsible for the birth centre and £6.4 million in compensation to enable Theo to cope with his disabilities.
 
Theo is unable to sit up without support, will never be able to walk and has severe learning difficulties, which means he will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life.
 
His parents, Janet Evans and Earnie Kramer, had selected the Edgware Birth Centre, Edgware, after carefully researching places to give birth. Janet was 38 when she became pregnant with Theo and both she and Earnie visited a number of units before choosing Edgware for Theo's delivery. They wanted him to be delivered in the most natural way whilst at the same time minimising any risk to their much-wanted baby.
 
Janet and Earnie were told the midwives at the birth centre were better trained and more experienced than many working in hospitals. They were also reassured that the birth centre would be safer for their baby and, in the event their baby needed to be delivered in hospital, that this would be arranged as fast if not faster than for a woman already in hospital.
 
Unfortunately, this was not the case, and Janet was left in the care of a student midwife. Theo's heart rate was not properly monitored and the student midwife failed to realise that Theo was in severe distress and needed to be delivered. Theo was gravely ill when he was born because he had been deprived of oxygen and there were further delays in arranging for him to be transferred to Barnet General Hospital.

How JMW helped

Theo was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy caused by oxygen deprivation due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck. This would have been avoided if Theo had been monitored effectively, the signs that he was in distress had been picked up on, and he had been delivered more quickly. After JMW’s Eddie Jones challenged this poor care on behalf of Theo, the trust responsible for the birth centre admitted the tragic errors and agreed to pay him £6.4 million to cover the cost of the life-long specialist care that he requires.
 
It was determined Edgware Birth Centre should never even have accepted Janet Evans as a patient, because their protocol excluded first-time mothers over the age of 35.

The outcome

Eddie Jones said: “This is a particularly tragic case where Earnie and Janet feel rightfully angry that they were misled into choosing an NHS birth centre to deliver Theo, when a safer option in his case would have been a hospital maternity unit. Parents choosing to have their babies in standalone midwifery-led units need to understand the disadvantages of such units, and to know that if things go wrong with the labour, they won’t have the same support as in hospital.”
 
At the high court in London, a judge approved the sum to be paid to eight-year-old Theo.
 
Mr Justice Tugendhat expressed his "admiration and sympathy" to Theo Kramer's parents, over the "catastrophe that Theo has suffered".
 
He said: "It is, I'm afraid, not unique to read about events as awful as these, but one sitting as a judge can only be in admiration of the way in which Theo's parents have looked after him."

Talk to Us

For more information on how JMW Solicitors can help if you have suffered negligence while giving birth in an NHS birth centre, contact us by calling 0345 872 6666 or visit our dedicated service page here

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