Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital ordered to pay £13m+ compensation to child with cerebral palsy | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital ordered to pay £13m+ compensation to child with cerebral palsy

Mark Bowman was instructed by the parents of A following his birth at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. A suffers from severe disabilities, in particular brain damage secondary to hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, which occurred during the course of his mother’s labour and his birth.

As a result of his injuries A will require single level accommodation, 2:1 care and specialist aids and equipment. In spite of the seriousness of his injuries, A is predicted to have a long life expectancy into his 70s.

On admission to hospital at 10:50, following a report of reduced fetal movements, it was our case that Adam's delivery should have taken place as soon as the CTG trace was seen to be worrying and in any event no later than by 12:20. As it was, delivery did not take place until 13:28. It was our case that with delivery by 12:20, Adam would have avoided his injuries. Such claims were based on evidence obtained from experts in midwifery, obstetrics, neuroradiology, paediatric neurology and neonatology. In investigating the case, a number of experts felt unable to support the claim and had to be replaced until such time as supportive expert evidence was found.

An initial settlement meeting was held in order to discuss the issue of liability. Despite maintaining that the care provided was appropriate and that A's injuries were all caused prior to his admission to hospital, an agreement was reached on a 50/50 basis, meaning that A would recover 50% of the compensation he was ultimately entitled to. Interim payments of £200,000 and then a further £900,000 were obtained whilst A's claim was quantified and in order to enable the family to purchase some much needed equipment for A and to employ the services of a case manager.

In order to maximise A's recovery, an aggressive timetable was set, meaning that the case was due to proceed to trial. Having obtained evidence from experts in care, occupational therapy, accommodation, physiotherapy, orthopaedic surgery, speech and language therapy, assistive technology, paediatric neurology, educational psychology, ophthalmology and audiology, a further settlement meeting took place at which a settlement was agreed for a lump sum of over £3,500,000 as well as yearly payments to meet A's care needs of £98,000 up until age 18, and £118,000 for the rest of his life. Such a settlement will ensure that A's care needs are met for his entire life and that the payments he receives are index linked to carer's wages. The Court approved A's settlement.

At the end of the claim, A's parents commented:

From our initial meeting with Mark we felt absolutely confident in him. His commitment to achieving the best for his clients was evident. Throughout the whole process Mark took time to explain each step, possible outcomes and answered all of our questions, of which there were many. His support was invaluable, particularly during the more challenging times.

It is a great relief to have reached a settlement. We are now in a position to provide our son with the support that he needs in order to lead a happy and fulfilling life. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mark and really can’t thank him enough.

Exeter : Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -

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For further information about cerebral palsy claims and medical negligence claims, please call Mark Bowman on 03304606794 or email


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