Mother Wins £7m Payout After Lengthy Legal Battle

Mother Wins £7 Million Legal Case 30 Years After Son Was Born With Cerebral Palsy

14.11.2013

A mother has been awarded £7 million in compensation after her son was born with brain damage in 1982.

Ronak Patel suffers from severe cerebral palsy, BBC News reports, which was caused when his mother Smita's appendix burst during pregnancy.

It emerged that hospital staff failed to spot her appendicitis, so doctors were unable to prevent the toxins from affecting the child's brain.

Having originally launched legal action against the Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, north-west London when Ronak was just four years old, Mrs Patel gave up her pursuit seven years later.

However, the persistent mother decided in 2006 that she would claim for compensation once again and the case has now finally drawn to a close, with an out-of-court settlement being agreed.

The money will be used to care for Ronak, who cannot use his arms or legs, sit upright or talk. He was moved to a care home in 2005.

In most cases, the family of a person who is suffering from brain damage can be put under immense strain and Mrs Patel told the news provider the ordeal has had a huge impact on her life.

Her husband Jitendra died in 2008 and Mrs Patel thinks the stress of worrying about Ronak may have been a contributing factor in his death.

"I myself have also had health problems and suffered a heart attack," she was quoted as saying.

Chief executive of the North West London Hospital NHS Trust - which looks after Northwick Park Hospital - David McVittie said he was pleased the court had approved the agreement between the two parties.

"This agreement will ensure that Ronak has the assistance he needs throughout his life," he commented.

According to the NHS, it is estimated that one in every 400 children in the UK is affected by cerebral palsy and approximately 1,800 people are diagnosed with the condition each year.

Expert Opinion
What a tragic series of events this poor family has had to endure. This settlement will ensure Ronak will have access to the professional and medical care he needs for the rest of his life and we hope it gives the family a sense of justice after what they have been through. Regrettably we continue to see cases involving extremely serious injuries caused as a result of poor health care management and our priority it always to ensure that going forward we are able to ensure that the best possible care is received.”
Luke Daniels, Partner