Edwina Rawson successfully settled a claim on behalf of a baby boy who suffered quadriplegic cerebral palsy as a result of hypoxia during birth, for about £12 million if he lives to his life expectancy of age 49 (subsequently increased to 53.6 years in light of the Strauss updated figures).
Liability was admitted in full at a very early stage, before expert evidence was obtained. Accordingly, allegations of negligence were never particularised. However, it was clear from the hospital's own investigation that there were concerns about the interpretation of the CTG during labour and delay in the birth. Judgment was entered in 2006 on a hundred per cent basis. The Claimant was only age 2.
The Claimant was severely disabled, with severe HIE (grade 3) and a dystonic form of cerebral palsy. He had developmental delay. He had no swallow and had excessive salivation that was not under control. He was nil by mouth and gastrostomy fed. His lack of swallow resulted in him requiring intrusive suctioning at very regular intervals day and night. He dribbled constantly, which interfered with his ability to enjoy life as he could not look down for more than a very short period of time before dribbling on to whatever he was doing. He required 24-hour care. He was, however, aware of his surroundings.
The claim was stayed for a number of years, especially as the Claimant was developing cognitively better than expected. During this time, the defendant adopted an extremely helpful approach and made a number of interim payments voluntarily, totalling £1.6 million. The Claimant benefitted enormously from the care and various therapies that were available to him in light of the interim payments and was able to attend a school that was excellent for him. He far exceeded everyone's expectations. Against the odds, he even learnt to take a few steps, with a walking frame.
Despite his problems, this young boy was an inspiration to us all. His delightful personality and zest for life won everyone over, including the defendant's experts! He was loving and bubbly, and thrived when he was the centre of attention. He was a golden-boy at school.
It had always been recognised that the Claimant would need to move schools at about age 10. The family waited to receive the opinion of the education expert in the case before deciding where they would finally live, so no claim was made during the case to purchase a property. Subsequently, the family have relocated and the Claimant started at Ingfield Manor School last year, and is doing brilliantly.
A round table meeting was held in the autumn of 2014. The parties were far apart at the outset, largely because the defendant gave a life expectancy of 38 years.
The parties were able to reach settlement in this case by agreeing that not only future care and case management costs should be met by annual periodical payments, but also other heads of loss including Court of Protection costs and loss of earnings.
Settlement was based upon payment of a lump sum of £3,276,000, with £125,000 for care and case management to age 14, £175,000 to age 19, and £228,000 onwards. Further, he would be paid £18,644 per annum from age 19 onwards for loss of earnings to spend on outgoings other than care and case management, and £11,000 per annum for Court of Protection and deputy costs.
The settlement was approved at a Hearing in October 2014.
This case is, in my opinion, an example of how beneficial it is if a child has access to therapies from a very young age. The Claimant was encouraged to maximise his potential from a very young age, which he did and which we are sure he will continue to do.
The Claimant's father said:
"Edwina has been fantastic. Not only is she a brilliant lawyer, but she is a powerful combination of professionalism and compassion. She fought for our son every step of the way, and explained everything to us carefully and clearly. We regard her as part of the family. We will be eternally grateful to her for ensuring that our son has the happiest life possible."
- You can speak to our medical negligence solicitors on freephone 0800 358 3848
- e-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Complete our short enquiry form
All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Charities we support
Personal injury team celebrates social hub for amputees and their families
Fieldfisher hosted the first informal central London meeting hub organised for amputees and their families in association with the Limbless Association (LA)
Further criticism of sub-standard care at Basildon Hospital following death of new-born
At the inquest into the death of a baby boy at Basildon Hospital last year, the coroner concluded that serious failings by staff contributed to the baby's death at one day old.
Jane Weakley welcomes CYRIL technology to test new-borns at risk of cerebral palsy
Researchers at University College London (UCL) have developed a non-invasive monitoring system, small enough to take into neonatal intensive care units, which shines infrared light into new-born babies' brains to detect possible brain damage within a few hours of birth.
Claire Horton comments on Countess of Chester hospital nurse arrest
Claire Horton comments on the distressing case of Lucy Letby, the nurse accused of murdering and attempting to murder babies and infants in the neo-natal unit of the Countess of Chester hospital between 2015 and 2016.
Simple scan to identify breech babies supported by partner Jane Weakley and senior midwife Charlene Francois
Proposals for coroners to investigate late-term stillbirths would provide relief to grieving families