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Settlement Secured For Boy Left With Cerebral Palsy After Negligent Postnatal Care

Our Medical Negligence team have secured compensation for a client, ‘James’*, who received delayed medical care after birth.

When James was born, there was a delay in treating jaundice (a yellowing of the skin caused by the liver not functioning properly). This delay resulted in a condition called Kernicterus, which causes cerebral palsy.

Kernicterus is a brain condition caused by a build-up of bilirubin. While bilirubin is a naturally occurring substance in the body, it can be harmful if it’s concentration in the blood is too high. Elevated levels are common in babies, but as his treatment was delayed, James suffered cerebral palsy and severe physical disabilities. He will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

James’ mother asked our medical negligence solicitors to investigate the circumstances of her labour.

We sought expert advice and developed an extensive legal argument which hinged on an existing court decision from a similar case. The hospital admitted liability and James’ family received an eight-figure settlement in January 2016.

James’ parents were also involved in an appeal against his Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) at the time. A particular school was identified, which all parties agreed was appropriate for his needs. Education psychologists backed up the decision for both sides of the appeal.

However, the NHS initially argued that it was up to the Local Authority to pay for these school fees.

The NHS delayed paying these fees until July 2017. At this point, they agreed to pay them annually until James turned 19, with a small deduction for therapy costs already settled as part of the main claim in January 2016.

Anne Kavanagh, an Associate in our medical negligence team, said:

“This was an important case where in relation to the school fees, we relied on an earlier Court Judgment involving a similar case. The issue was essentially that the need for this school arose purely as a result of the admitted negligence and following older case precedent, the body responsible for the negligence (the NHS) was therefore liable for the payment of fees associated with the school placement.”

If you or a loved one has suffered due to delayed medical treatment, our Medical Negligence solicitors can help. Please visit our Hospital Negligence page for more information.

*Not his real name.

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