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11 year old girl wins highest award for Erbs Palsy claim


Natalia Lee’s settlement of £475,000 was approved at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, in November 2009. She suffered a severe group 4 brachial plexus injury (Erbs Palsy) and Horner’s Syndrome during the course of her birth on 14 September 1998. The Hospital admitted negligence early in proceedings and also offered an unreserved apology.  

Natalia underwent several surgical interventions but despite surgery, she continues to have a flexion contracture at the elbow, as well as reduced wrist extension. Natalia’s global right arm function is severely reduced, with only some useful activity in elbow flexion and a weak pinch grip between the thumb and the index finger. She is mainly unable to use the right arm in daily activities, as well as in sports or other possible hobby activities. She also suffers from pain which is somewhat unusual after an obstetric brachial plexus injury, but it makes her situation more severe.

In 2006, on examination Natalia was diagnosed with a mild left sided curvature in the mid-back region. The scoliosis was monitored over a few years before settlement negotiations could begin in earnest. As no deterioration appeared to have taken place in the intervening years, her legal team and her parents agreed that her claim could be settled.   

The situation regarding Natalia’s right arm is most likely going to be permanent for the future, which means that she will throughout her life have very little use of her right arm and hand, together with disturbing pain. The situation will, of course, have a serious effect on her future life; professionally, cosmetically, as well as in hobby and leisure activities.  However, despite her obvious disability, Natalia is a keen swimmer and has recently trialled for the British Disabled Swimming team.  She has set her sights on representing the UK in the 2016 Paralympics. We look forward to cheering her on as she represents her Country in the years to come.