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Case Study

Part damages agreed for young boy after mother's labour badly managed at Worthing Hospital

At a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in July, the judge approved that a five-year-old boy would receive 65 per cent of damages for negligence at his birth at Worthing Hospital in January 2017.

His damages are limited because he was also born with a little-known genetic condition (deletion of a 4p gene), meaning medical experts were unable to agree which of his injuries were caused by the inherited condition and which were a result of catastrophic mistakes around his birth.

The Western Sussex Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Worthing Hospital, admitted that the boy was born in poor condition following his mother's labour because of delays in recognising that a Propess pessary inserted to speed up her contractions had been left in too long and caused hyperstimulation and excessive contractions that meant the boy was deprived of oxygen.

The Trust admitted this breach of duty and that the baby should have been delivered earlier. The Trust apologised to the family for failures in care provided by its medical staff.

The boy is left severely disabled, with gross motor development of an 18 month-old. He can walk for about 10 minutes before becoming tired and then needs a wheelchair, which seriously limits family activities. He falls frequently. He has difficulty swallowing and his food has to be very finely chopped, and has very disrupted sleep. He has significant cognitive developmental impairment, very limited communication and behavioural difficulties, particularly a lack of awareness of danger that is becoming increasingly difficult for his family to manage.

On behalf of the boy and his family, Jane Weakley will now work with the Trust to quantify the costs of caring for him to ensure he gets the most from his life, and to help his mother with the extreme challenges of bringing him up.

Following approval, the boy's mother said:

“I am so grateful to Jane and everyone at Fieldfisher for all their hard and continuous work in getting to this stage. It has made our future more secure and we cannot be happier with the outcome thus far."

Contact us

For further information about birth injury claims and hospital negligence claims, please call Jane Weakley on 0330 460 6773 or email jane.weakley@fieldfisher.com.

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All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee. Find out more about no win no fee claims.

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Birth Injury Claims