Medical Negligence Experts Instructed By Mother
Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell secured a compromised settlement on the fifth day of a trial at the High Court on behalf of a boy living with a devastating brain injury.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was born in the early 2010s. Through his mother and litigation friend, he claimed damages in respect of injuries that he suffered as a result of the care he received between his birth and discharge from hospital two days later.
It was the boy’s case that the defendant, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, failed to identify that he was at risk of exposure to breast milk insufficiency and thereafter failed to identify that insufficient amounts of colostrum and/or expressed breast milk were being provided to him.
It was further alleged that the defendant failed to recognise that the boy was at risk of developing asymptomatic hypoglycaemia and/or to respond adequately to that risk. Consequently, the defendant discharged him without effective breastfeeding in place and whilst he remained at an elevated risk of breast milk insufficiency and hypoglycaemia.
Had the boy remained in hospital and been provided with the proper standard of postnatal care, he would have avoided neurological damage which he went on to develop from hypoglycaemia.
Liability was denied by the defendant in full with no settlement offers made throughout the duration of the litigation. The defendant’s case was that breastfeeding developed normally.
The parties were already in agreement prior to the trial that the boy suffered a neurological injury as a consequence of untreated hypoglycaemia.
On the fifth day of the trial, following a key witness for the defendant giving evidence in open court, the parties explored settlement and a compromise was reached which was subsequently approved by the trial judge.
The boy now suffers from epilepsy and autism. Investigations into his condition and prognosis as well as quantum are ongoing.
Following settlement, his mum said: “I was devastated when I found out my son had suffered a brain injury.
“He finds it very difficult to do so many everyday tasks that others take for granted, but he’s my world and all I want to do is help him get through the challenges he faces as best I can.”
“The trial was really tough, having to relive everything we have gone through but we are so grateful that a settlement on liability has now been approved and we can work with the legal team to ensure my son will receive the best care and support available so we can move forward with our lives.”
Expert Opinion“This is an incredibly sad case where a child has been left with a number of issues following diagnosis of a brain injury shortly after birth.
Understandably the family have a number of concerns about the events that unfolded during their son’s birth. We’re therefore pleased to have been able to help secure settlement for the family. This will help them access the specialist lifelong care, support and therapies the boy requires to meet his complex needs to ensure he can live life as independently as possible and achieve his full potential.
We are really pleased to now have secured this life changing agreement which was approved by Mr Justice Ritchie”.
Richard Kayser - Partner
The family were represented at trial by Robert Glancy QC and Richard Cartwright of Devereux Chambers.
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