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Hewitt & Gilpin Wins Substantial Damages for Child Left Severely Disabled Following Birth Injuries

03 Feb 2013

A child left profoundly disabled as a result of injuries sustained during birth is to receive compensation of £1,460,000.00 plus substantial annual support payments following an admission of clinical negligence by a local Healthcare Trust. A record out of court settlement between the child’s family and the Defendant Trust was approved by the High Court in Belfast earlier this week.

Hewitt & Gilpin Wins Substantial Damages for Child Left Severely Disabled Following Birth Injuries

The child who is now a teenager was born in a Belfast Hospital following artificial induction of labour which went wrong and resulted in severe brain injury.   

Solicitor Emma Irwin of Hewitt & Gilpin acted on behalf of the child who now suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy and says the case required years of investigation.

“We are relieved for the family that this money has been secured as their son requires highly specialised care and expensive equipment 24 hours a day for the rest of his life” said Ms Irwin.   

“It is a tragedy which the family has been coping with in a positive upbeat and dignified manner,” she said “but we should never underestimate the huge challenges faced by the household with responsibility for a severely disabled member of the family.   They are often, as in this case, left to their own devices when it comes to services such as physiotherapy and other necessary treatments which are not always made available through the NHS.”

Ms Irwin says that the mother was admitted to the Maternity Hospital at full term of pregnancy and without complication. But according to medical evidence the mother was subjected to prolonged and excessive stimulation during induction of labour.   

“Our case was that earlier delivery of the baby would have avoided the development of cerebral palsy and other significant medical complications.   Our medical opinion also suggested that closer monitoring of the foetal heart rate would have assisted the clinicians in detecting the hypoxia which ultimately lead to the baby’s brain injury.”

The child’s family say they are relieved that the money needed to care for the child has now been secured.

“The compensation money will allow us to move to a more wheelchair-friendly house and access the therapies our boy needs.  We will be able to purchase a specialised hydrotherapy bath and also pay for carers to assist us with his complex care needs.   This settlement will help us to achieve a better quality of life for our son and help him reach his full potential”.

“Although the birth went tragically wrong, our son is a joy and pleasure to be around and even with very severe disabilities has an amazing spirit and personality which has kept us going throughout.”

Details of the action have been kept anonymous to protect the confidentiality of the parties concerned.

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