Brain damage at birth judgment against Guy's & St Thomas' NHS trust

£21 million settlement for teenager with cerebral palsy from negligently delayed delivery

Our client

Matthew* (now 3 years old) was injured when delays during his birth reduced the supply of oxygen to his brain resulting in a hypoxic ischaemic injury caused by perinatal asphyxia. This resulted in Matthew being diagnosed with four-limbed dystonic cerebral palsy.

Dystonic cerebral palsy is a type of dyskinetic cerebral palsy often caused by a hypoxic ischaemic injury. A child with this type of cerebral palsy will usually not have control over their movements and may move involuntarily, sometimes appearing to be writhing. A dystonic cerebral palsy sufferer has a severe physical disability but will also have preserved intelligence and understanding.

Although Matthew can walk independently he is not stable and falls easily. He is able to speak, but he communicates in the same way as a much younger child, and as yet he has no control over his bowel or bladder. Matthew will most likely be dependent on others for his daily care for the rest of his life.

The result

Our specialist cerebral palsy claim solicitors obtained a judgment in favour of Matthew and his family’s claim for birth injury negligence.

The claims process

When our cerebral palsy claim solicitors were first contacted, we launched an investigation into what happened to Matthew during his birth. We looked at his medical reports, as well as those of his mum, and also obtained expert opinions from specialists in obstetrics, midwifery, neonatology, paediatric neurology and neuroradiology. We wanted to establish what it was that went wrong during Matthew’s birth and how the hypoxic ischaemic injury that caused the dystonic cerebral palsy could have been avoided.

In 2010, our cerebral palsy claim solicitors contacted the hospital setting out the circumstances of Matthew’s birth and how we believed birth injury negligence had occurred. This included how the midwife, and other medical staff, had not understood how distressed Matthew had been before he was born and had not done enough to aid him and to prevent the hypoxic ischaemic injury that resulted in the dystonic cerebral palsy.

Did the hospital admit fault?

In 2011, the hospital admitted that it was to blame for Matthew’s dystonic cerebral palsy.

How was the case funded?

Legal aid was granted and there was no cost to Matthew or his family.

The future for Matthew

Matthew is too young for his mental and physical condition and his life expectancy to be understood. His birth injury negligence case has been adjourned until the full extent of his dystonic cerebral palsy is clear. In the meantime, thanks to the judgment secured by our cerebral palsy claim solicitors, Matthew and his family are receiving substantial temporary short-term payments to cover the cost of immediate requirements, such as accommodation and care.

*All names have been changed for client privacy.

They have a great deal of knowledge and expertise, and client care seems to be their top priority.

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