£12m compensation for child with cerebral palsy following negligence at Royal Free Hospital | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

£12m compensation for child with cerebral palsy following negligence at Royal Free Hospital

Jonathan Zimmern settled a cerebral palsy claim for more than £12m following negligent medical treatment during and shortly after Sam's birth at the Royal Free Hospital.

Sam was born in November 2012. After a difficult labour, he was reportedly born in good condition but within an hour of his birth, he collapsed and suffered catastrophic brain damage. He is left severely disabled as a result of his injuries.

Jonathan argued that Sam was not in fact born in good condition and that midwives failed to notice or ignored his deteriorating condition. He argued that a paediatrician should have been present at Sam's birth or called to examine him urgently, and a midwife should have been monitoring him at all times.

These failures meant there was a significant delay in recognising his poor condition. When he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest requiring intubation and cardiac compression, the delay in treating him starved his brain of oxygen. He now has cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs, severe speech and language difficulties, severe cognitive difficulties and requires feeding via gastronomy. His life expectancy is significantly curtailed.

The Defendant hospital initially denied all allegations, suggesting that Sam had been healthy when he was born and that his collapse was entirely unforeseeable. However, assisted by a team of experts including a neonatologist, obstetrician and midwife Jonathan argued this was unlikely to be correct given what happened to Sam, and negotiated liability on a 65 per cent basis. 

Sam requires around the clock care, specialist equipment and speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Following negotiation, Jonathan secured interim payments for Sam's care, and alternative housing while the claim was fully valued and successfully concluded.

Jonathan settled Sam's case for a lump sum of around £8.8m, plus annual payments of around £200,000 for care and case management for the rest of his life.

Despite his severe disabilities, his family describe him as, "a fun loving and happy loveable little chap who has a really cheeky side to him."

Following settlement, Sam's parents said:

"We couldn't have wished for a better lawyer to handle our case.  From the start, we felt we were in secure hands.  Jonathan handled difficult conversations in the most sympathetic way and was always available for us at the drop of a hat.  He was able to simplify difficult concepts of which we had no previous experience and when things got tough, Jonathan always had a different angle to help our case.

This has already been life changing for our family and a huge weight has been lifted of our shoulders now that we know our child will have the best possible care.  We will be forever grateful to Jonathan and his amazing team."

Contact us

For further information about cerebral palsy claims and birth injury claims, please call Jonathan Zimmern on 03304606779 or email jonathan.zimmern@fieldfisher.com.


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.

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