Seven Figure Settlement Agreed For Severe Injuries Caused Due To Premature Delivery

Cerebral Palsy Compensation

16.12.2009


Irwin Mitchell achieved a seven-figure compensation package for their client Miss Ferrier for the cerebral palsy she sustained due to being delivered too early by unnecessary emergency caesarean.

Miss Ferrier was born at Grimsby Maternity Hospital in May 1991 at 31 weeks. Until then the pregnancy had been progressing well and no problems had been identified. Her mother, Mrs Cuthbert, then experienced some sharp pains in her abdomen. The midwife advised her to call the hospital for further guidance and she was then admitted to the maternity unit at Grimsby Hospital where it was decided that an emergency caesarean section was needed. Following her delivery, Miss Ferrier was admitted to the special care baby unit and was then discharged home on 18th June 1991. Miss Ferrier later developed cerebral palsy.

Miss Ferrier, now 18-years-old, has a marked delay in her development and associated learning difficulties along with visual impairment. She requires 24 hour care and has been cared for by family since her discharge from hospital.

Irwin Mitchell obtained an admission from The Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority that Miss Ferrier should not have been delivered at 31 weeks and that the situation would have been monitored more closely with adequate management. It was also admitted that significant injury was caused by Miss Ferrier’s premature birth.

The chief executive of Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority apologised to Mrs Cuthbert on 2nd May 2008 for the problems caused by inadequate care.

Irwin Mitchell has negotiated the seven-figure settlement after assessing the extent of Miss Ferrier’s injuries and her long-term needs. These funds will be managed by the court of protection to cover costs such as providing suitable accommodation and care for the rest of her life. The settlement was approved at a hearing in the Sheffield High Court.

Tom Mather, a medical law specialist at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: "I’m delighted for Miss Ferrier and her family that the Health Authority has seen fit to make a full admission with an apology and come to an agreement over her future needs. 
 
"This has been an extremely stressful situation for the family and they are relieved that they can finally begin to move on with their lives."

Mrs Cuthbert says: "Having a baby early is a very worrying and upsetting time, but then to find out nine months later that your child has cerebral palsy is just devastating. For the past eighteen years I have had to make a lot of big decisions over her medical and care needs, and this in itself just breaks your heart having to watch your child go through so much. No parent should have to go through that. I have often asked myself if it was something I did or didn’t do in my pregnancy. So finding out I had nothing to do with my daughter’s health problems has been a big weight lifted off my shoulders."

"We take each day as it comes because you have to.  Having a disabled child is hard work and I know I am not the only person out there, but it can be a very lonely place.  

"As a mother I have tried to be her rock, but as always she has been mine. She is my very brave little star."