The claim concerns the catastrophic brain injury suffered by one of twins delivered at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in July 2014. A claim is also brought on behalf of the child's parents for the psychiatric injuries they suffered as a result. Samantha Critchley was instructed to investigate the claim, the circumstances of the deliver having already been the subject of a Serious Untoward Incident Report. It was evident to Samantha, early on from reading the report that this was a strong case of negligence – even though no admissions were made in the report. Samantha used the report and MRI findings to draft allegations of negligence which were sent to the Hospital Trust at the very beginning of the case. She invited the hospital to make an early admission of liability and avoid the distress and cost of pursuing the case to trial.
The Claimant's twin sister was born in good condition with no problems. The obstetric staff caring for the twins failed to notice that CXG was in distress and that there were decelerations in his heart rate. The obstetric team failed to follow protocols and appreciate that the trace monitoring the baby's heart was pathological. The obstetric team failed to take steps to deliver CXG in time before the brain damage had occurred. CXG was delivered in July 2014, in poor condition, with the cord wrapped tightly twice around his neck. He required extensive resuscitation and suffered damage to his brain as a result of a lack of oxygen.
It was subsequently admitted by the hospital that a decision should have been made the Claimant well before midnight. It was admitted by the Defendant that had the Claimant been delivered when he should have been he would have avoided his brain injury.
His mother has been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression and has been unable to return to work as a result of her son's injuries. His father was present at the birth and suffered shock and has also been diagnosed with PTSD, depression and anxiety. No admissions were made in relation to the parents' claims.
The admission was made by the Defendant in January 2016. We then took steps to issue court proceedings and get judgment entered for the little boy. In addition an interim payment in the sum of £250,000 was obtained and a case manager appointed who will focus on the areas of accommodation, care, therapies and transport. This additional support, once in place will hopefully allow his mother to return to some form of work and will enable the parents to access the psychological support that they need to help them manage their past trauma. The case continues in relation to quantum and the estimated value is in excess of £10-15million.
CXG's parents went on to say:
"Sam is that rarest of things; an exceptional lawyer and a kind human being. Sam has been an incredible champion for our son and through her kindness, compassion, incredible dedication and outstanding professionalism she has secured a future for him that we never thought would be possible. Sam has made the immensely difficult and complex process of litigation easy to understand and has done so with minimal impact on our already very stressful family situation. We could not imagine a better person for the job."