Mr Justice Hickinbottom has today handed down judgement in favour of a claim pursued in the High Court last week on behalf of a young boy, Yiqun Zhang, who sustained severe brain injuries during his birth at Homerton Hospital, in east London, in 2006.
Yiqun suffered a parietal bone fracture and intracranial and subgaleal haemorrhages and has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
The trust responsible for Homerton Hospital accepted that Yiqun's injuries were sustained during his caesarean section delivery, which was performed because his head was deeply impacted in his mother’s pelvis, but denied that the injuries were due to excessive force being placed on his head.
During the trial, the judge heard evidence from the doctors and midwife involved in Yiqun's delivery as well as from obstetric experts instructed by both parties.
The judge found that Yiqun’s injuries were due to the manoeuvres carried out by the attending obstetric registrar whilst attempting to disimpact his head from his mother’s pelvis, which involved excessive, unnecessary and dangerous force being applied to his head and which amounted to a breach of the duty of care she owed to him.
The trial only dealt with the question of liability and Yiqun’s needs will now need to be considered in detail before damages are awarded to reflect his serious injuries and losses. Yiqun’s claim was funded by the Legal Services Commission.
Alison Appelboam-Meadows, partner in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Solicitors LLP, who acted on Yiqun's behalf, said: "No amount of money can ever give Yiqun the life he would have led had he not suffered such serious injuries at the time of his birth. However, now that liability has been determined in Yiqun's favour, we can consider the care, equipment and therapies that he needs to maximise his potential. He has dedicated parents who have provided him with loving care, day and night, and I hope that they will now be able to access some assistance."
Simeon Maskrey QC was the leading counsel acting on behalf of Yiqun.