The delay in delivery led to the baby suffering acute profound asphyxia resulting in a devastating brain injury. The case was complicated by known abnormalities during the pregnancy with a hemangioma on the umbilical cord, meaning the defendant strenuously contested causation. Ultimately, liability was agreed at 67.5% of damages to be assessed.
The boy has permanent life-long injuries and cannot sit or stand independently. He requires a gastrostomy for fluids. He has no speech or verbal communication and has a severe cortical visual impairment as well as a bilateral hearing impairment. Nevertheless, he is a sociable and happy boy who loves being with his family.
He has extensive needs as a result of his injuries, including two carers 24-hours a day and single level accommodation with intervention from various therapists. The settlement will enable him to access the equipment and services he needs to maximise his independence and improve his quality of life. Previous interim payments enabled access to case management, alternative accommodation and private therapies which, his family reported, have been hugely beneficial to him.
Following agreement of liability, the issue of quantum was investigated with various experts addressing the child's needs over his lifetime. There were disputes about his accommodation in particular, but an award for two properties was secured to reflect that the child spends time with both his mother and father who are separated.
The final award totalled £3.7m as a lump sum in addition to yearly payments of £172,500 to age 19 and then £202,500 beyond age 19 for life to cover his care and case management requirements.
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