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Six Figure Sum For Man Born With Erb’s Palsy Following Negligent Delivery

Our expert birth injury lawyers secured over half a million pounds in compensation for a Birmingham man who was born with Erb’s Palsy after his shoulder was injured during delivery.

Our client, SM, was born in 1993. The labour was long and difficult and after he was born, his mother noticed issues with his left arm. However, the doctors reassured her it was a simple dislocation and that the problem would resolve itself in time. But the problems continued and SM was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for an operation when he was three years old. The surgery failed to fix the issues: five years later, after further orthopaedic reviews, our client was eventually diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy.

Erb's palsy affects nerves in the shoulder, impairing signals that are sent from the spinal cord to control the shoulder, arm and hand. The condition restricts movement, strength and dexterity in the arm and can stunt growth as well. It makes life very difficult for sufferers and the effects can stay with people for the rest of their lives.

The injury has had a profound impact on SM. He has essentially no functional movement of his left shoulder or elbow – which has restricted use of his left hand as well. He is heavily dependent on the support of others as he cannot do normal everyday tasks such as washing and drying himself or cooking. He also struggles with recreational activities like playing sports. Because of his injury his employment opportunities are very restricted; this in turn has caused psychological issues as well.

We secured a settlement of over half a million pounds for SM, bringing a case against the NHS Trust responsible for his negligent care. He hopes to use the £550,000 settlement to pay for much needed rehabilitation and therapy to help him recover from him injury and live a more independent life.

SM was represented in his claim by Sara Burns, Partner in our Medical Negligence department in Birmingham. She said, “SM’s physical injury had a profound effect on him growing up, impacted on his education and limited him in achieving his goals. This is set against a background of there being a delay in diagnosing his condition which meant he was effectively left to get on and manage as best he could; a particularly difficult situation for a young boy given his ethnic and social background. Despite this he has shown determination in trying to cope with his disability and he has strength of character which is admirable given the difficulties he has had to endure."

"Whilst liability was accepted by the Hospital Trust, it was not straightforward to ensure that the compensation process achieved an outcome that reflected SM’s past and future difficulties. We very much hope the significant settlement contributes towards enabling him to achieve a level of rehabilitation that will facilitate his future ambitions.”

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