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Case Study

Cerebral palsy claim: £3.5m following birth delay at Mayday University Hospital

The Claimant's mother (who was from St Lucia) became pregnant, aged 21, and was referred to the Mayday University Hospital in Croydon. Her due date was 30 August.

On 7 September,  she was admitted to hospital with a rupture of her membranes and stomach cramps. She remained in labour for a further 48 hours. Progress was very slow.

On the afternoon of 9 September, a decision was made to deliver the baby by caesarean section due to poor progress, increasing maternal blood pressure and continued abnormalities on the CTG.

There was a long delay between the decision made at around 17.00 and the Claimant's mother being taken to theatre. Just as she was about to go to theatre there was a further delay because another patient was in the operating room.

By the time she was taken to theatre at 20.30 the epidural she had been given had worn off. She required a spinal anaesthetic which further delayed matters.

JNW was born at 21.02 in very poor condition. He was blue, floppy and not breathing. He required intensive resuscitation and was taken to the Neonatal Unit for further care. Sadly he suffered a number of seizures, multi-organ failure and eventually was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The Claimant's parents consulted Paul McNeil, a Partner in Clinical Negligence at Fieldfisher, to investigate the claim on JNW's behalf.

We obtained expert evidence from a midwife and obstetrician who confirmed that there was a delay in getting the Claimant's mother to theatre and moreover a further delay to expedite delivery once it became very evident that the abnormalities on the CTG were pathological in theatre.

JNW suffered an acute period of hypoxia just before he was delivered and we obtained evidence to confirm that delivery even a few minutes earlier would have resulted in a much better outcome for JNW.

Proceedings were issued against the Mayday University Hospital. The Defence denied liability in its entirety. However, the Defence accepted that had JNW been born six minutes earlier he would have been born unharmed.

In the meantime, JNW was growing and was very mobile. He had a lot of dystonic movements. He could move very well at home although he had very significant difficulties when outside. He also had behavioural problems. He was very strong-willed, determined and motivated.

The case came to Court where His Honour Judge Gore, approved a settlement including a substantial lump sum of £3.5million and periodical payments to cover the cost of caring for JNW for his whole lifetime. Although liability was never formally admitted by the Defendant, the settlement provides sufficient funds for JNW so that he can maximise his potential.

Indeed, shortly after the settlement the Claimant's family moved into much more suitable accommodation using funds from the case.

Following the settlement JNW's mother said:

"Mr McNeil and his team could not have gotten a better outcome for our family. Through the entire journey we were kept involved and well informed at every step. They didn’t just fight for our son who was the victim, they fought for our family.

"Now we can worry less knowing that our son's future is set. We cannot thank Mr McNeil and his team enough and wish them every success in helping other families."

Contact us

For further information about cerebral palsy claims and medical negligence claims, please call Paul McNeil on 020 7861 4019 or email


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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