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Ben was born in 2010. When he was only a few months old his parents came to us for advice. Complications with his delivery, including a prolapsed cord, had left him with cerebral palsy. When he was born he began having seizures and needed to be kept on a ventilator for five days. His parents were anxious to know if anything could have been done differently during Ben’s birth and wanted to secure funds to ensure he would have the lifetime of support he would now need.
Our specialist team secured expert medical evidence which helped to prove that the midwives had acted negligently in failing to notice Ben’s prolapsed cord and deliver him urgently by caesarean section. We were able to establish that if Ben had been delivered 11 minutes earlier he would not have suffered his brain injury.
The NHS Trust responsible for the hospital where Ben was born admitted responsibility for his injuries and also made an apology to his family.
We obtained a large interim payment which meant that Ben and his family could move into accommodation more suited to his needs, and enabled a package of care and treatment to be put in place to help him make the most of his life. Our Court of Protection team was able to help and support Ben’s family throughout the case, while our Public Law & Human Rights team secured funding for the school that his parents believed would best meet his needs.
We also appointed a case manager to help Ben’s family recruit new carers and therapists, as well as coordinate appointments and order specialist equipment. The therapies Ben was now able to enjoy included physiotherapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, and support from a dietician.
Ben’s condition means that he cannot walk or talk, or sit up unaided. However, the therapies he was able to access after we took on his case have significantly improved his quality of life.
One of the most beneficial therapies for him was speech and language therapy; he can now use eye gaze technology and communication books to complete puzzles, select toys and make choices. This is a significant improvement for Ben, who previously struggled to communicate. As a bright boy, this was very frustrating for him. Now five years old, Ben still faces many challenges each day. His extensive needs mean he will always be entirely dependent on others for his daily care and support. Despite these challenges, Ben is a happy boy who enjoys listening to music and playing rough and tumble with his family. He also enjoys horse riding therapy, which has helped improve his sitting, balance and posture.
In 2015 we secured a final settlement of £11.5 million. This sum will ensure Ben has access to the specialist treatment, care and equipment he requires for the rest of his life.
Jane Weakley, an Associate in our London office and a specialist in birth injury claims and cerebral palsy claims, represented Ben and his family. Following the conclusion of the case she said: "This young boy's family have shown so much dedication and support to him to ensure he has the best possible care, but he needs one-to-one care and specialist rehabilitation services to ensure he reaches his full potential. We are pleased that we secured this settlement for him and his family. They now have the financial security and reassurance that the costs for his future treatment will be met. We hope that lessons are learnt by the hospital and their staff so that patient safety in this situation can be improved and each and every patient receives the best quality of care at all times."
If medical errors during birth caused your child’s cerebral palsy, our expert solicitors could help you claim compensation. Visit out Cerebral Palsy Claims page for more information or call or free on 0808 163 4557.
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