Queen's Hospital Romford admits partial liability for child with cerebral palsy | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Queen's Hospital Romford admits partial liability for child with cerebral palsy

In November 2016, Louise* developed what she believed to be contractions. She struggled to time them as the pain was constant and excruciating.

A midwife at Queen's Hospital, Romford advised her to stay home and continue trying to monitor the contractions. An hour later, her husband again called the midwife to report that Louise was struggling. He was told to call again in an hour. When he called a third time, he was finally told to bring Louise to the hospital, but was not advised how to access the maternity unit. When they arrived, the main entrance to the unit was closed, and the alternative route had a broken lift.

By the time Louise reached the maternity unit, she was close to delivering. The baby's heart rate was dropping. As she pushed, he became increasingly distressed.

Johnny* was born floppy and ghostly white. His brain had been starved of oxygen. He was resuscitate and later transferred to a specialist hospital for cooling.

Johnny suffered severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE), resulting in significant disabilities including quadriplegic cerebral palsy, profound learning disability, and epilepsy. He will need 24-hour care for life.  
It was argued that Johnny's parents should have been advised to attend hospital after their first phone call. A CTG would have been commenced urgently, followed by obstetric review, diagnosis of placental abruption, and urgent delivery. Johnny would have been delivered at least 17 minutes earlier thereby avoiding his injuries. The Trust admitted that Louise should have been advised to attend hospital, but denied a CTG would have been urgently commenced. Ultimately liability was settled on an 82.5% basis.

Each side obtained extensive expert evidence to value the claim, including care, therapy and housing. Key points of contention were life expectancy and the need for waking night care. An unsuccessful settlement meeting was held six weeks before trial and negotiations continued in writing. Settlement was agreed two weeks before trial.

Johnny was represented by Paul McNeil, assisted by Sarah Kingsley Fried

Following settlement, the parents said:

'We are both so grateful for all of the hard work Fieldfisher and their team have put into our case over the past six years, they have been incredibly professional and they have kept us up to speed with the case throughout the whole process. 

'A huge thank you goes out to Paul Mc Neil who from the first day has been completely upfront and honest and has dedicated so much of his time making this possible. We appreciate all of his hard work and will be forever grateful for everything he has done for our family.'

*Names changed

Contact us

For further information about cerebral palsy claims or birth injury claims please call Paul McNeil on 0330 460 6804 or email paul.mcneil@fieldfisher.com or or call Sarah Kingsley Fried on 0330 460 6815 or email sarah.kingsleyfried@fieldfisher.com.


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.