£18.8m for child with cerebral palsy following negligent birth management at Royal Preston Hospital | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

£18.8m for child with cerebral palsy following negligent birth management at Royal Preston Hospital

Jenny Urwin acted on behalf of this young girl with cerebral palsy following failed attempts to deliver her at birth using forceps rather than via caesarean section.

Jenny secured a £18.8m settlement against Sharoe Green Maternity Unit, Royal Preston Hospital, part of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She has severe epilepsy, learning and behavioural difficulties, difficulties with balance and gait and requires 24-hour care.

The claimant's mother, who had a caesarean section for an earlier pregnancy, was carrying twins and was advised this was a high-risk pregnancy. The plan was that she have an elective caesarean section to deliver the twins at around 36 weeks and that if she went into labour earlier, she would also have a C-section.

She did go into labour early but was only delivered by C-section after repeated failed attempts to deliver vaginally and then by forceps, the baby's head having become impacted in the mother's pelvis.

The defendant Trust denied liability, contending that caesarean section was not the only planned mode of delivery and that attempting vaginal delivery was appropriate. There was also a factual dispute as to which twin became impacted and it was argued that the claimant's brain injury was not due to the failed attempts at forceps delivery.

Previous solicitors who initially dealt with the matter reached an agreement on liability with the Trust that the claimant would receive 50 per cent of the overall value of her claim assessed on a 100 per cent basis. This was prior to Jenny being instructed to assume conduct to address quantification and settlement of the case.

When Jenny took over the claim, it was evident that the claimant was in desperate need of larger more suitable accommodation, the introduction of therapies, aids and equipment and the implementation of care and case management. Jenny immediately took steps to appoint a case manager to work with the family, secured alternative larger rental accommodation and physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy were introduced. In addition, a team of carers was recruited to provide double up care during the day and some much needed night care to provide her parents with some respite.

A feature of the claim was that the claimant needed 3:1 care (an unusual requirement) when in the community. Her epilepsy was pharmaco-resistant and the family was purchasing medical cannabis privately, the only treatment that successfully reduced her daily seizures. The decision was also taken for her to be home-schooled to better meet her educational needs. 

Unfortunately, the extent of her injury means that she will never be able to work, will require 24-hour care for life and a professional deputy to manage her financial affairs.

A joint settlement meeting was not successful in reaching resolution but subsequently a negotiated settlement was achieved shortly before trial. This was successful in securing funds via periodical payments to cover not only full-time double up care for day and night, but also the 3:1 care provision when in the community, together with a lump sum.

The settlement overall equated to £18.8m on the agreed 50 per cent basis (or £37.6m on a 100 per cent basis).

Following settlement, the mother said:

'Jenny’s skilled professional approach, dedication and hard work has secured our child’s future care needs and has given us the peace of mind in knowing her complex care and privately prescribed medication will continue, even after we are no longer alive.' 

Contact us

For further information about cerebral palsy claims and birth injury claims, please call Jenny Urwin on 03304606776 or email jenny.urwin@fieldfisher.com.


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win no fee. Find out more about no win no fee claims.

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