After an eight-year-old girl was left severely brain damaged at birth because of maternity staff blunders, she was awarded £8.75m by London’s High Court. The child was born at St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth, on March 16, 2003. Having been starved of oxygen in the womb because the clinical staff missed vital signs of fetal distress on monitoring equipment, she was born with irreversible brain damage.
The ‘affectionate’ little girl suffers from tetraplegic cerebral palsy and will be dependent upon others for the rest of her life.
Her mother sued Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust on behalf of her child. The Trust admitted liability in her tragic injuries and have released funds to the family in a series of interim payments. The final settlement was recently approved and consists of a £4.2m lump sum, plus annual, index-linked and tax-free payments, bringing the total value of the settlement to around £8.75m.
A representative of the Trust apologized to the family for what happened to the child. An observer remembers him saying, “I would like to take the opportunity to apologize. It is a matter of profound regret that [this child] was so gravely injured… we apologize to the family for the mistakes that were made.”
He continued by saying, “We hope that some assurance has been given that such mistakes will not be made in the future.”
The family’s solicitor said, “This is an excellent settlement for birth injury, which will provide the help and assistance that she will need for the rest of her life. ‘Her parents are delighted, and are now able to move forward with confidence in caring for their daughter.”
While money can never replace what a family and their disabled child would most want to have replaced (their disability), settlements do provide for future financial security and financial peace of mind. Hospitals in New York City and Long Island have studied this case.
The judge was reported as commenting: “It is clear that [this child] is an affectionate little girl and had clearly benefited from all the input she has received to date, and that is in no small part due to the efforts of her parents” who needed this settlement.
Contact a New York Birth Injury Attorney today if you suspect that your child’s birth defect is a result of negligence or medical malpractice.