Abdullahi’s mother attended North Middlesex Hospital. She was in early labour and her membranes had ruptured earlier that day. A CTG trace was commenced to monitor the fetal heart rate.
During the delivery her baby’s heart rate slowed due to stress caused by hypoxia and the baby went into distress at 00.30. The doctor did not arrive until half an hour later. Abdullahi was born at 01.35 and needed to be resuscitated and have his airways cleared.
As a result of oxygen deprivation, Abdullahi suffered severe brain damage, which caused severe developmental delay, mild cerebral palsy and visual impairment. He also suffers from epilepsy and is doubly incontinent. He cannot communicate and requires round the clock care. In contrast, Abdullahi is physically powerful and can make heavy demands on his parents and carers.
Paul McNeil was instructed and he alleged that these injuries were caused by the negligence of the defendants in their management of the labour. Liability was settled and a rehabilitation regime was set up with money received on account of the award.
Four years later, Mr Justice Butterfield approved an award of approximately £9.5 million. This was made up of a lump sum of £2.8 million, and annual payments of £169,000 until Abdullahi is 19, and £202,166 every year after Abdullahi's 19th birthday.
At the settlement hearing Mr Justice Butterfield said:
"I am quite confident that the award and the compromises that form part of it properly recognise the risks of litigation and provide for the future of the Claimant as best money can.
"They say that one picture is worth a thousand words. I have to say that I was deeply moved when I watched the DVD of a day in the life of this Claimant. I was moved, firstly, with compassion for his condition, but moved also by the obvious dedication and devotion that his parents have shown to him and will continue to do so as the challenges, I regret to say, increase rather than diminish with the passage of time."
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