£7m Damages Awarded in Cerebral Palsy Case

03 December 2014

A young boy has been awarded £7 million in damages as a result of a medical negligence claim arising out of treatment provided to him and his mother at the time of his birth.

A six year old boy has been awarded £7m in damages as a result of a medical negligence claim taken against Kings College Hospital London arising out of treatment provided to him and his mother at the time of his birth in 2008.

Chase Lorck was starved of oxygen at birth and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The Lawyers who handled the case advised that a birth plan had been drawn up but was not followed. The midwives who were sub-contracted to the hospital pushed for a natural birth despite Chase’s mother being advised that she would be prepared for a Caesarean section as the baby was lying breech.

In addition, there was a five hour delay in delivering the baby as well as a failure to adequately monitor the baby’s heart rate, which would have assisted in indicating that the baby was in distress and that an emergency delivery was required. In the end and by reason of the delay, there was no time to perform a Caesarean section and Chase was born naturally in extremely poor condition.It took over 10 minutes for a heartbeat to be recorded following delivery.

The Defendant, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, admitted liability in 2010. Settlement negotiations commenced thereafter involving numerous experts on both sides. The settlement had to incorporate a comprehensive care regime to include both past and future care needs as well as provision for therapies and equipment.

A settlement figure of £7m was agreed and approved by a High Court Judge on 1st December 2014. The settlement comprises a £3.1m lump sum together with annual payments of £300,000 which will increase to £320,000 when Chase reaches 18 and continue for the rest of his life.

The Defendant Trust issued the following statement, “We have apologised to Chase’s family, and the Trust has learned important lessons from this case. These have helped us make improvements to the care we provide for mothers-to-be at King’s.”

Cerebral palsy, a condition affecting muscle control and movement, can be caused by an injury to the brain before, during or after birth. Sometimes these brain injuries can arise by reason of a hypoxic event such as oxygen deprivation during delivery, and if this has been caused by inadequate management or indeed delay on the part of the hospital, then you may be able to pursue a compensation claim.

If you believe that a hospital or other care provider Northern Ireland may have been negligent in providing advice or medical treatment to you or your child, which has resulted in a cerebral palsy or other birth injury, and which could have been avoided, Worthingtons Solicitors have an experienced team of litigators who specialise in Medical negligence and in particular birth injuries, and who will gladly provide advice on all aspects of birth injury claims in Northern Ireland.

Contact Claire McDaid on 028 90434015 or Nikki McConnell on 028 91811538 for advice and guidance.

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