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Written by Richard Money-Kyrle

Boyes Turner’s cerebral palsy lawyers secured a £21 million* settlement for a severely disabled teenager whose brain was damaged during a period of negligent delay leading up to his birth.

Our client’s mother had been in hospital in labour, augmented by syntocinon, for three days when the fetal heart monitor was discontinued whilst an epidural was set up. When CTG monitoring restarted, the midwife misinterpreted the abnormal CTG trace, and left our client's mother unattended in labour. The midwife later discovered that the CTG was not picking up the unborn baby’s heartbeat. She asked a colleague to find a fetal scalp electrode (FSE) and call the doctor. The colleague did not call the doctor but returned with the FSE which revealed a dangerously low fetal heart rate (bradycardia). The doctor was called and carried out a forceps delivery but the baby's brain had already been permanently damaged by hypoxia (lack of oxygen). When his family approached us in his teenage years, he had quadriplegic cerebral palsy, severe learning difficulties and impaired communication.

Our experts believed that our client’s brain injury, during 50 minutes of negligent delay, became permanent in the final five minutes before his birth. The defendant admitted ten minutes of negligent delay and denied that correct action in that time would have led to delivery in time to avoid our client’s injury. Looking for other possible causes of his cerebral palsy, they asked for our client to undergo a speculative MRI scan. We refused, and when we insisted they produce evidence to support their defence of the claim, the defendant finally admitted liability.

We obtained judgment, interim payments of £250,000 to meet our client’s urgent need for suitable accommodation and care whilst we prepared for settlement of the claim. Final settlement provided our client with a £6.59 million lump sum and lifelong, annual payments of £250,000pa to pay for care and case management.

*Capitalised equivalent settlement

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 and would like to talk to one of our specialist solicitors, free and confidentially, to find out more about making a medical negligence claim, contact us at