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Teenager wins compensation for child birth injuries resulting from hospital negligence

Teenager wins compensation for child birth injuries resulting from hospital negligence

A teenager who suffered catastrophic brain injuries shortly after birth has been awarded the right to compensation by London’s High Court. The agreement to settle the case means that the teenager will not have to attend court to determine the issue of liability.

Failure to treat a blood disorder following birth resulted in a serious disability

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has won the right to receive compensation from the NHS for the injuries he sustained shortly after birth.

The teenager was born at the Barnsley District Hospital in 1998, with his family alleging that doctors failed to properly treat a blood disorder shortly after his birth. As a result of the disorder, the young boy was left severely disabled: he suffers from acute cerebral palsy, which affects all four of his limbs, and he will never be able to live independently.

The family commenced legal action against the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which has denied any wrongdoing. Although it denies liability, the Trust has agreed a settlement with the family that will see them be able to recover some compensation. The matter appeared before the High Court in London in order for the settlement to be approved.

Hearing the case, Judge Graham Robinson said the decision to settle was sensible, as the issue had been “compromised”. He acknowledged that the teenager would “require a substantial degree of care for the rest of his life” and stated:

“There were real issues concerning what caused his disabilities and it is clear that a number of possible causes would have been advanced. I have no hesitation in approving the compromise which has been struck”.

A full assessment of the compensation he should receive will now be made. The case will return to court at a later date if the level of compensation cannot be agreed between the parties.

Settlements without an admission of liability

When receiving medical attention, patients are entitled to receive a certain standard of treatment. In order to bring an action for clinical negligence, an injured party must show that the treatment they received fell below the standard they are entitled to expect and that the fall in standard of care caused, or contributed, to the injuries that they are seeking compensation for.

In some cases, those who provided the medical assistance admit that they did not reach the standard of care that they were expected to provide. The admission of liability allows the parties to the case to go on to negotiate the amount of compensation the injured party should receive. However, in other cases, the issue of liability may not be so clear-cut.

Judge Graham Robinson made clear, when approving the agreement made between the parties in the case of the teenage boy above, that there were issues surrounding the cause of his injuries. With a number of possible causes, it could not be said that a fall in the standard of care that the teenager received definitely caused his injuries. As such, the NHS Trust was not able to admit liability. In making an agreement to proceed without admitting fault, the issue of compensation can be discussed without having a full court hearing to try and decide whether a fall in the standard of treatment resulted in injuries that could have been avoided.

If you have concerns about the medical care that you have received, please contact one of our clinical negligence lawyers at IBB Solicitors. Our goal is to obtain justice for victims of the negligence by others, by securing compensation that reflects their pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses including loss of earnings, treatment costs and specialist care costs.

Please contact our Child birth injury solicitors on 01895 207835 or 01895 207295. Alternatively, you can send an email with your name and contact information and brief details as to the nature of the accident/clinical negligence and the injuries sustained to malcolm.underhill@ibblaw.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.