Two settlements in excess of £13m have been approved by the High Court in Belfast this month. Both cases relate to children who sustained a catastrophic brain injury at birth.
The first case involved a nine-year-old Co Down girl who suffered catastrophic injuries at birth after being starved of oxygen to the brain when she was born at the Ulster Hospital in 2008.
Her family commenced proceedings against the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in respect of the medical care and treatment provided prior to, during and following delivery. Liability was not contested and a settlement in the sum of circa £5m was approved by the High Court in mid-January 2018.
The settlement included a lump-sum payment as well as periodical payments to cover the cost of her care and other needs for the rest of her life.
The second case involved a second nine-year-old girl, this time from County Antrim, who suffered brain damage after her birth at the Mater Hospital in 2008. Similar to the above case, it was alleged that the child had been starved of oxygen during delivery, thereby resulting in devastating brain injuries being sustained.
Proceedings were commenced against the Belfast Health and Social Trust, claiming damages in respect of the injuries as well as damages for a bespoke care package which had been drawn up by experts during the course of the litigation, to include accommodation and care requirements. Liability was not contested and ultimately a settlement of in and around £8m was approved by the court, payable by way of initial lump sum and annual periodic payments thereafter.
Cerebral palsy, is a condition which affects muscle control and movement. It 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. There are other causes of cerebral palsy which can also be investigated and which may represent grounds to take an action in negligence against the local healthcare trust.
In recent years, we have acted in a number of similar cases and this year, we have a number of cases listed for hearing. If you believe that a hospital or other care provider in 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, who will gladly provide advice on all aspects of birth injury claims in Northern Ireland.