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Case Study

£8.5 million recovery after botched forceps delivery at the Colchester General Hospital left a baby boy with multiple neurological injuries

H was born at the Colchester General Hospital in March 2011. The twin pregnancy was managed by a Consultant Obstetrician at the Colchester Hospital and H's mother was admitted to hospital for induction of labour on 24 March at 38 weeks gestation. The induction initially went well.

The precise circumstances of the delivery of H were not clear, the ventouse took much longer than anticipated and subsequently forceps were necessary to deliver H.

Immediately after birth H's father noticed that he had severe bruising on his head which was largely ignored because the obstetric team were attempting to deliver H's twin sister in theatre.

H was eventually taken to the Special Care Baby Unit because the swelling on his head was rapidly increasing.

A CT scan was performed which showed:-

  • Depressed left frontal bone and parietal occipital skull fracture
  • Comminuted left parietal parenchymal haemorrhage
  • Traumatic sub arachnoid haemorrhage
  • Left intra ventricular haemorrhage
  • Fracture of the left zygoma
  • Extensive subgaleal haematoma
  • Left parietal extradural haematoma
  • Haemorrhagic contusion involving the left lateral half of the left temporal and parietal lobes

H was rushed to Addenbrooke's Hospital for specialist neurological neonatal care.

Sadly, at the age of 19 months H suffered a viral illness which caused a stroke resulting in neurological injury to his left side. The medical experts instructed by the Claimant did not consider that the stroke was directly related to the very severe injury H suffered at birth. It was intensely bad luck that H suffered a separate serious illness with equally serious consequences.

Even though the original of the stroke was not related, the effects of a second brain injury in a vulnerable already brain injured child were much more devastating.

Fieldfisher issued proceedings on behalf of H and his parents in August 2014. Breach of duty and causation in respect of the injuries sustained at birth were soon admitted (and judgement entered) by the Colchester Hospital.

There was a serious dispute between the parties in relation to causation of injury and in particular how H would have developed but for the intervention of the stroke at 19 months.

The trial was listed for November 2016.

Eventually the case was settled after a bi party meeting for a capitalised sum of about £8.5million.

H's injuries are very serious and he is unable to stand or walk independently. He also has right sided hemiplegia, microcephaly and general developmental delay. H will need support for the rest of his long life and the sum awarded will enable the family to provide support in care, accommodation, education and aids and appliances.

Following the case H's parents said:

"We are extremely pleased with the service provided to us by Paul McNeil and the Fieldfisher team. From the outset Paul was both professional and sensitive to our needs. We were informed, guided and involved throughout. Our son’s case was not straightforward and the result Paul achieved for us was excellent, it is already making a hugely positive difference to our family. We thoroughly recommend Paul and Fieldfisher."

Contact us

For further information about birth injury 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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