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Written by Susan Brown

Boyes Turner’s cerebral palsy lawyers secured an £11.5m (equivalent) compensation settlement for a boy whose brain was injured as a result of negligent care by the midwife during his ‘water birth’ delivery.

Abnormal signs of fetal tachycardia (unborn baby’s high heart rate) and decreasing maternal contractions should have prompted the midwife to remove our client’s mother from the birthing pool, so that the distressed baby could be delivered quickly before suffering permanent injury. Instead, the midwife allowed the labour to continue. When the baby was finally delivered, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, and he needed cardiac massage to get his breathing started. Blood tests showed that he was acidotic, indicating that he had suffered hypoxia.  

We pursued a claim against the defendant hospital on the basis that our client’s severe dyskinetic, four-limb cerebral palsy was caused by hypoxia in the final minutes before his delayed birth. If the midwife had acted correctly to achieve a quicker delivery, our client’s permanent brain injury would have been avoided. The defendant admitted that the delivery was negligently delayed but argued that correct midwifery care would not have led delivery soon enough to avoid our client’s disability.

The case settled on the basis of a 90% judgment to guarantee our client substantial compensation, and protect him from the risk of losing at trial if the judge preferred the defendant’s experts’ arguments about timings and causation. Following interim payments of £275,000 to meet our client’s urgent needs, final settlement provided our client with a £4million lump sum plus lifelong, annual payments of up to £280,000pa to cover the costs of care. Our client is protected by Court of Protection deputyship and an anonymity order.

Read more about this case and others on our specialist cerebral palsy website here.

If you are caring for a child or young adult with cerebral palsy or neurological injury and would like to find out more about how we can help you make a medical negligence claim, you can talk to one of our specialist solicitors, free and confidentially, by contacting us at