£3.2 million settlement after oxygen starvation at birth leaves child with dyskinetic cerebral palsy

Our client

Christopher* suffered a hypoxic ischaemic brain injury during his delivery, which meant that the oxygen supply to his brain was temporary stopped. This resulted in Christopher becoming one of a number of babies with cerebral palsy born each year – he suffers from dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

Babies with cerebral palsy like Christopher’s tend to make unintended movements that can make them appear to be writhing, and they may not have control over their posture. However, although they suffer from severe physical problems, babies with cerebral palsy like Christopher’s often have solid understanding and intelligence.

The result

Our specialist cerebral palsy solicitors obtained a £3.2 million settlement for Christopher and his family.

The claims process

When we were approached by Christopher’s family we began an investigation into the circumstances of his birth and how he became one of the small number of babies with cerebral palsy born in that year. We were looking at how the hypoxic ischaemic brain injury might have been prevented and the dyskinetic cerebral palsy avoided. Our cerebral palsy solicitors got the process under way by looking at medical notes and records for Christopher and his mother, and consulting a number of experts on babies with cerebral palsy.

In 2003, our cerebral palsy solicitors contacted the hospital setting out the circumstances of Christopher’s birth and how we believed hospital negligence had taken place to cause the hypoxic ischaemic brain injury that resulted in his dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

Did the hospital admit fault?

The hospital did not take responsibility for the hypoxic ischaemic brain injury. However, Christopher’s family made an offer to agree to 50/50 liability (i.e. the hospital would be only 50% responsible) so as to settle the dyskinetic cerebral palsy case, and this was accepted. At that time compensation for babies with cerebral palsy was a developing area of law and so time was allowed for research into how much the compensation should be.

In 2006, an offer was made to our cerebral palsy solicitors of £1.4 million, but an amount of this could be ‘clawed back’ if the same local authority that ran the hospital also provided services to cater to Christopher’s needs.

After this was rejected, representatives for the hospital and our cerebral palsy solicitors agreed to a lump sum payment of £1.6 million with a full liability equivalent to £3.2 million.

How was the case funded?

Legal aid was granted and there was no cost to Christopher or his family in making their hypoxic ischaemic brain injury claim through our cerebral palsy solicitors.

The future for Christopher

Thanks to the settlement money our cerebral palsy solicitors secured for Christopher and his family, they will be able to ensure that he receives the specialist care he needs for his dyskinetic cerebral palsy for the rest of his life.

*All names have been changed for client privacy. 

I have to say I was extremely impressed with the service in what was a very difficult time for myself and my family. The advice and support I had from the team was fantastic and invaluable. They put mine and my wife's mind at rest on many occasions and got a great result for us. Thank you from all of us.

Mr Horne

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