Cerebral palsy lawyer Olive Lewin secures financial security for boy with severe brain damage

A young boy who suffered cerebral palsy as a result of a delay in delivery at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in 2006 has been awarded £2.5 million together with annual payments which will increase to a maximum of £296,141 pa for the rest of his life to pay for his ongoing extensive care needs.

The boy, whose identity is protected and is referred to as AB, was born at 05.20 by spontaneous vaginal delivery. He was born in an unexpected poor condition and required resuscitation.

During the labour the midwife did not inform the doctor that there was an abnormal CTG trace, showing abnormalities of the fetal heartbeat.

In the last 45 minutes before delivery, active pushing commenced, at which time the CTG trace changed fundamentally, with a series of increasingly more pronounced decelerations including a near 30 minute period just before delivery where there was no fetal heart rate.

After he had been delivered, AB had ongoing signs of respiratory distress and irritability and was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit. He had signs of brain irritability; he began to have fits, abnormal movements and was diagnosed with epilepsy. AB has since been diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

Olive Lewin from the clinical negligence team at Leigh Day represented AB and argued  that there were delays in expediting delivery and but for this negligence he would have been delivered by 05.00 at the latest.

Had he been delivered by 05.00 he would have avoided all his injuries. A full admission of liability was made by the hospital that AB’s delivery was not appropriately managed and that but for those failures in management, AB would have been born without brain damage.

AB is severely physically and cognitively disabled. He has stiff limbs which are prone to spasms. He has reduced toned in his trunk and neck and his head is somewhat floppy.

When lying on his back, he only has limited ability to roll. He uses a walking frame at school and home but is dependent on a wheelchair or buggy when outside. He has very little manual dexterity. He has considerable difficulties with sucking and swallowing and has been fed by naso-gastric tube since January 2012.

AB has no verbal communication but is able to smile and laugh and uses eye pointing to alert his parents to what he wants. Whilst he has a good attention span, he does have a severe degree of cognitive impairment and learning difficulties.

AB will continue to have severe physical, communication and cognitive impairments throughout the course of his life and will have significant learning difficulties as a consequence. He will require 24 hour care for the rest of his life.

Olive Lewin, from the medical negligence team at Leigh Day, said:

“This represents a really good settlement for AB and his family as it will enable him to have everything he needs by way of care equipment, therapies and appropriate accommodation for the rest of his life.”