Cerebral Palsy injuries suffered at birth likely settlement of over £15million18 May 2021 | Jodi Newton
A client who suffered cerebral palsy injuries at birth was awarded over £375,000 as an interim payment in a claim against NHS Trust with a likely settlement value of £15-20 million.
Olivia (not her real name) was born with serious neurological injuries as a result of delays in her delivery caused by the midwives and the obstetrician’s failure to correctly interpret the CTG, monitoring her heartbeat.
Olivia’s parents consulted solicitors who were directed to Jodi Newton by a barrister who was a friend of the family and knew of Jodi’s reputation in handling birth negligence cases. Jodi went to the parents’ home to meet with them and Olivia, in order to explain how she could help. Olivia’s parents signed a form authorising Jodi to act for them in pursuing a case against the NHS Trust initially on a legal aid basis and later on a conditional fee (“no win no fee”) agreement. The parents could not work, were living in a Housing Association property in an upstairs flat which would never meet Olivia’s needs. It was clear from the outset that they would need significant financial support to give Olivia the best chance in conquering the challenge of her disabilities. Jodi explained to them that in the event that we could achieve an admission of fault from the Defendant, known as an admission of liability, we would seek an early interim payment to meet Olivia’s needs, in particular a suitable home with access to a garden, room for all the special equipment she would need, and to enable her to properly engage in therapy. We would also appoint a specialist in rehabilitation to manage her complex needs.
Shortly after, we met with the NHS Trust who arranged a meeting to advise that there had been an internal investigation at the hospital, errors had been made, and they wanted to apologise.
Jodi instructed the country’s best medico-legal experts to prepare reports all of which supported that the hospital was negligent.
A letter was then sent to the NHS Trust and liability was admitted about 3 months later. We requested an interim payment for Olivia but the NHS Trust were very slow and to enable the interim payment to be made, we issued court proceedings. By this time, Olivia was approaching her third birthday, was still living in grossly sub-standard accommodation without her own bedroom or usable outdoor space. She was showing real promise with her mobility and cognition and could benefit hugely from therapies such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and music therapy which she very much engages with. To support our request for an interim payment, Jodi instructed a paediatric neurologist, an accommodation expert, an expert in managing a “personal injury trust” bank account, and a rehabilitation expert to prepare supportive reports. The Court hearing took place at the end of February 2020. As a result of Jodi ensuring everything was quickly in place to persuade the court to award a substantial interim payment, the court ordered a payment of just over £375,000 which the family received last month. They are now making plans to move into a new property which will be adapted to accommodate Olivia’s needs and rehabilitation can now progress so that Olivia can live her best life and finally manage her disabilities with the financial support they need. Olivia even took her first steps very recently, with the assistance of specialist equipment. She is loving her first taste of independence and much more progress is hoped to be achieved now that they have the interim payment to fund her complex needs.
We will now closely watch Olivia’s developmental milestones and, at intervals, update all the medical evidence which would enable us to return to court at each of those milestone points requesting additional interim compensation payments. It is anticipated that given the likely level of Olivia’s needs, this case will eventually settle either by voluntary agreement or determination by the Court, for between £15-20 million.
Stephanie Prior, Partner, Head of Clinical Negligence at Osbornes Law, is a specialist medical negligence solicitor, a former Registered General Nurse, she is also a member of the AvMA Clinical Negligence Panel and a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel and she has over 22 years’ experience in dealing with medical negligence claims.
Stephanie and her team are happy to visit clients are home and provide a personal client focussed service, which means that you will have the same person dealing with your case from start to finish. Client care is something that is very important to Osbornes
For a free, confidential consultation with Stephanie and her team call 020 7485 8811 or complete our on-line call back form.
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