Sophie was born at the Ipswich General Hospital on 24 April 2001 when her parents were on holiday in Suffolk. She was born at 29 weeks gestation and was transferred to the Lister Hospital, in Stevenage on 27 April.
On 30 April, in the late afternoon, Sophie collapsed and suffered permanent brain damage. The collapse led to a condition known as PVL, infantile spasms and subsequently autism.
Sadly, Sophie suffers from severe communication and behavioural difficulties in addition to severe learning disabilities. She also has mild spastic hemiplegia.
Sophie will never work and will require constant care and supervision throughout her life.
The issue in the case was the cause of the collapse on 30 April. We established that this was due to an over-infusion of dextrose solution and a subsequent failing to maintain Sophie’s levels of sodium and allowing her to become severely hyperglycaemic.
Initially liability was admitted by the Trust. However, when the parties were investigating quantum of damages the hospital reneged on its admission and it was necessary to issue proceedings and to ask the court to determine the cause of Sophie’s injuries.
The case was fixed for trial for 12 December 2006. The defendants, on the basis of independent expert evidence, asserted that Sophie's autism could not have been caused by the negligent over infusion of dextrose. They argued that her brain injury was caused by infantile spasms, which were not related to the initial injury.
Shortly before the trial, and after receiving advice from another expert on the cause of Sophie’s disabilities the defendants admitted liability.
In addition, Paul McNeil secured a substantial interim payment to enable the family to purchase care, additional speech and language therapy, education services and more suitable accommodation.
Following the admission of liability Sophie’s mum stated:
“We are delighted with the outcome of the case that Paul McNeil conducted for our daughter. Paul’s tactical grasp throughout was excellent.
"His exceptional skill secured us a quick admission from the hospital of liability and he patiently capitalised on this to win a substantial initial lump sum. We would have no hesitation in recommending him to others”.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Fieldfisher has successfully been recognised as an "Occupation and Asbestos Disease Specialists" Fieldfisher are now recognised as assessors
Charities we support
A Face in the Crowd: Maxillofacial Trauma Conference
Fieldfisher, alongside ABI solutions, is very pleased to be running a conference in London on the 5th December to discuss different aspects of maxillofacial injuries.
Paul McNeil's six-figure settlement for woman wrongly injected with penicillin
A woman severely allergic to penicillin has been awarded six-figure damages after an anaesthetist at the private Runnymede hospital near Guildford injected her with the drug Amoxicillin.
Mistakes at the Portland Hospital leave young mother disfigured and unhappy
Following a series of catastrophic events at the privately-run Portland Hospital in central London, Jonathan Zimmern recovered over £100,000 in damages for his client.
Fieldfisher hosts successful conference for practitioners working with people suffering catastrophic neurological injury
The Sun reports on Keith Barrett's case of Richard Giles, who died after being electrocuted when his lorry hit 11,000 volt cables
Arti Shah comments in the Evening Standard about her client's case in which their husband died of a heart attack after being told to take Gaviscon