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Case Study

Settlement agreed by London North West University Healthcare Trust for girl with cerebral palsy caused by mother's chorioamnionitis

Jane Weakley reached a compromise settlement on behalf of a now nine-year-old girl with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, born at Ealing Hospital in west London. The settlement was approved by the Court on 20 January 2021.

The girl's case was that her mother suffered the bacterial infection chorioamnionitis during labour, which was not recognised by hospital staff. Because of her mother's infection, the girl then suffered periventricular leukomalacia at birth, which caused cerebral palsy.

Four days before she was born, L's mother was admitted to hospital. The Trust accepted that she had received poor care when she was left in a wet bed overnight after her membranes ruptured. She was then discharged home the next day with a diagnosis of a UTI and prescribed antibiotics.

When she returned to hospital, L was delivered immediately and the chorioamnionitis infection was detected. The hospital denied that L's mother had had an earlier rupture of membranes, rather that she leaked urine, or that she should have been kept in hospital for monitoring. The hospital also denied that if there had been monitoring, that would have led to a delivery.

L's case was complicated by the fact that it had to be accepted that even if there had been a rupture of membranes and the correct antibiotics given, the scientific literature did not support a better long term outcome for L. Further, with L having to prove her case, it became increasingly difficult to establish that any monitoring prior to the actual date of delivery would have prevented L's mother's discharge home or brought her back into hospital any earlier.

The hospital attended a settlement meeting where a financial award was  agreed which, while a small proportion of the value of the case, will make a significant difference to L's future by providing her with adapted accommodation and a fund for support, equipment and therapies.

Contact us

For further information about cerebral palsy claims and birth injury claims, please call Jane Weakley on 020 7861 4105 or email jane.weakley@fieldfisher.com.

Alternatively

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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