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Samantha Critchley, Partner in our medical negligence claims team, has won £325,000 for a young man who suffered a serious brachial plexus injury (Erb’s Palsy) during his birth.

In February 1986 Ali's mother went into labour and was admitted to Luton & Dunstable Hospital. There were concerns about the baby’s heart rate on the CTG trace. It was decided to expedite delivery. A failed attempt was made at a forceps delivery. A ventouse delivery was carried out, according to the medical records, with “moderate pulls”

Ali was born with an Erb’s palsy and Horner’s syndrome. This resulted in a permanently damaged arm: his left arm was 8cms shorter than the right arm and the range of motion in left shoulder, elbow and wrist  was significantly reduced.

It was alleged that the defendant failed to take appropriate steps to dislodge the claimant’s impacted shoulder and that excessive force was used to deliver him. It was the claimant’s case that he would have been delivered unharmed with appropriate care.

A claim was issued in the High Court and a trial date fixed for 27 July 2009.

The hospital fully defended the claim and denied liability until very close to trial. After a meeting between the obstetric experts on both sides, Sam Critchley pressed the hospital authority for an admission. A formal admission of negligence was made on 26 May 2009, just days before a settlement meeting took place.

Following negotiations the matter settled and the court approved the £325,000 settlement on 4 June 2009.


After the case, Samantha said:

"I am thrilled to secure another high award of damages in an Erb's Palsy claim. I am also pleased for my client that the litigation is finally over and he can now harness the funds to live independently and maximise his potential. We were delighted that  the hospital did formally accept responsibility for my client’s injuries; it is just a shame that the case was defended so close to trial."


Contact us

For further information or if you have a birth injury claim please call Samantha Critchley on 020 7861 4263 or email

For further information or if you have a birth injury claim please contact our team:

  1. You can speak to our clinical negligence solicitors on freephone 0800 358 3848
  2. e-Mail us at
  3. Complete our short enquiry form

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