The claimant, a boy now aged four, was born at Arrowe Park Hospital.
During a generally unproblematic pregnancy, his mother was advised that her baby was likely to be big and, not least since she herself was small, she would need to be monitored. When she arrived at Arrowe Park Hospital, as agreed, her labour was induced with Syntocinon. The baby's head was delivered in a right facing position and consequently shoulder dystocia was anticipated.
Following good practice, the mother was to be placed in the McRoberts position, but the Claimant and the midwives present at the birth dispute whether this position was ever achieved. Upon delivery of her baby, the mother noticed that his right arm was not moving and by the time she was discharged four days later, his arm was noted to be limp.
The boy now suffers from severe disability including a severe Narakas group 3 right-sided Erb's palsy that occurred during labour and delivery.
At four years of age, it is too early to know the full impact of the boy's injury as he grows up, but he will likely require surgeries and live with permanent deformity and loss of normal use of his right arm and shoulder. This will undoubtedly impact his independence and may limit his employability in the future.
Proceedings were issued and in a letter of response, the defendant denied any breach of duty, and continues to do so. Earlier this year, however, the defendant offered 90 per cent of the damages, which the Claimant agreed to accept. The Court also approved Jane's request for interim payment to the Claimant to deal with his immediate care needs.
This was a difficult case, because of the dispute on the facts about whether the correct manoeuvres were used to release the shoulder. We argued that with such a severe injury, there must have been excessive traction.
Following settlement, the Claimant's mother said: "Our family couldn’t be happier, it’s been four years of never knowing what the outcome may be, so the day we finally got settlement on liability was like a breath of fresh air. It means that we can now look forward to providing the best care possible for our son in his younger years and for him to be able to support himself in his later years."
"Without the help of Jane and Fieldfisher we wouldn’t have been able to achieve all this so we thank them above and beyond…"
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