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£500,000 Payout after Child is Left Disabled for Life

The parent’s of a child who was left disabled for life following a difficult birth at Liverpool Women’s Hospital have been awarded £500,000 in birth injury compensation.

Incident

London High Court heard how Midwives at the hospital broke a ‘cardinal rule’ in 1999 by continuing to pull at the infant, who was larger than average, when he became stuck in his mother’s womb during labour.

An obstetrician only arrived once the baby had been delivered and this point resuscitation had to be carried out to save his life.

Injuries

Justice Holgate heard how midwives began to ‘panic’ as the baby’s shoulder got stuck in his mother’s womb and simply continued to try and pull the baby out. By doing so, they caused damage to the delicate nerves in his neck which has resulted in permanent nerve damage in his shoulder. He was also left with one arm shorter than the other and is in constant pain.

According to his family’s barrister, Jane Tracy-Forster QC, despite having pioneering surgery at the age of three, the boy – now 17 – will never recover from his injuries. She added that the injury was caused by ‘excessive traction’.

Miss Tracey-Forster also contended that due to the size of the infant, the delivery was high risk and an obstetrician should have been on hand throughout the birth.

Outcome

Alleging negligence, the teenager sued Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust through his mother. Liability was apparently ‘hotly disputed’ by the trust however a settlement of half a million pounds was eventually agreed by their lawyers.

Justice Holgate concluded:

“I pay tribute to the determination, care and understanding on the part of his parents.

“It must have been a difficult time for them, coping with their son’s disability and also with this litigation. They are to be commended.”

According to Charlotte Jones QC, council for the NHS, the trust is “pleased and relieved” that a settlement had been reached without a contested trial.

Birth injury claims – expert advice

Birth injury claims may involve any instance of medical negligence during pregnancy or childbirth. If you or your child has been affected by a birth injury, you may be entitled to maximum personal injury compensation. For more information on birth injuries and claiming the compensation you deserve, please see the ‘Birth Injury’ section of our website.

Alternatively, speak to our expert team of medical negligence solicitors today to discover how we could help you. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call us on 0800 888 6 888 or send an email to info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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