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Case Study

Settlement for young girl with severe cerebral palsy following delays at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Jenny Urwin has settled a case on behalf of a child who was diagnosed with severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy following negligent treatment at her birth at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blackpool teaching Hospital NHS Trust. The child is protected by an anonymity order. 

During her mother's pregnancy, there was a failure to refer for ultrasound scans when it became clear during antenatal visits that foetal growth was delayed and the pregnancy should have fallen into the growth restricted category. Furthermore, no planned antenatal screening tests were carried out throughout the pregnancy.

When the claimant's mother began labour, she attended Blackpool Victoria Hospital where she was examined and told to return home as there were no beds available. A few hours later, when the contractions were more severe, she returned to hospital. She was advised that due to complications she would need to deliver the baby immediately.

The claimant was born in very poor condition. She required resuscitation for approximately 35 minutes and was admitted to the Special Care Baby Unit for cooling treatment. She developed seizures within six hours and was transferred to Burnley Hospital for further cooling treatment. She was diagnosed with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) and subsequently formally diagnosed with cerebral palsy a few months later.

The claimant was left with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. She suffers from epilepsy and is gastrostomy fed. Her communication is limited because of her physical difficulties, with only a number of words, but she has preserved intellect and benefits from assistive technology to communicate. She is wheelchair dependent for mobility and dependent on others for all aspects of her daily care.

Following a full admission of liability from the Defendant Trust, Jenny secured a series of voluntary interim payments to fund an alternative property to be adapted for the claimant. A case manager was also instructed and a team of therapists put in place to provide speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and dietetic input.

Jenny was then able to instruct a team of independent experts to investigate quantum and ultimately settlement was reached following negotiation with the defendant shortly before trial. This settlement was equivalent to a lump sum award of £23million to provide lifetime care, her ongoing therapeutic and equipment needs, and assistive technology, as well as covering the purchase and adaptation of appropriate accommodation.

Following settlement, the family said:

“Jenny achieved an excellent outcome in our child's very complex litigation case, as well as this she was professional and kind throughout which made the process a lot more bearable than it might have been otherwise. Her attention to detail and humanity was very important to us, and we would wholeheartedly recommend her to any other family."

Contact us

For further information about cerebral palsy claims and birth injury claims, please call Jenny Urwin on 0161 268 8595 or email jenny.urwin@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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