The girl, whose identify is anonymised, was born in 2013. A catalogue of delays during her mother’s labour meant the baby was deprived of oxygen at and just before her birth, resulting in quadriplegic cerebral palsy affecting her cognitive development.
The hospital admitted negligence in waiting more than three-and-a-half hours to perform a caesarean section, despite the mother’s blood pressure being dangerously high and the baby’s heart rate persistently being recorded as abnormal. There were also delays in reviewing the mother by an obstetrician.
The baby was not breathing when she was born and had inhaled meconium. She was rushed to the Special Care Baby Unit where she was resuscitated and intubated but suffered seizures. She was later transferred to the Royal Sussex County Hospital for cooling. An MIR scan a few days later confirmed brain damage consistent with oxygen deprivation. She will likely have to spend most of her life in a wheelchair, and struggles to communicate.
An internal report by the hospital acknowledged delays in delivery the baby but the trust argued some of the injuries suffered by the baby occurred before the mother arrived at the hospital.
Jane successfully argued against the trust’s attempt to divide the settlement on this basis and the defendant conceded and eventually agreed to a 100 per cent settlement.
Jane arranged for a professional deputy to ensure the girl receives the 24-hour support she needs, plus specialist therapies and equipment to help her live to her best abilities.
Following settlement, the family said:
"I would highly recommend Jane Weakley and Fieldfisher… They were professional, kind and understanding during an extremely difficult time in our and our daughter's lives. They gave us all the facts, allowing us to make all the right decisions and have just been so supportive throughout. It felt like they absolutely had our backs 100% and really cared about what was best for our daughter.
"The outcome has allowed us to make sure our daughter has the right therapy and equipment to enable us to help her reach her full potential and have opportunities she wouldn't otherwise have had. It was the best decision we've ever made instructing them to act on our behalf."
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