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Written by Susan Brown

Boyes Turner’s cerebral palsy lawyers have secured a £4.7 million (equivalent) settlement for a girl whose brain was injured, leading to quadriplegic cerebral palsy and disabilities of the utmost severity as a result of negligent management of her mother’s VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) labour.

Our client’s mother had previously had an emergency caesarean section. According to hospital guidelines, her next (VBAC) delivery should have been treated as a ‘trial of scar’ with close monitoring of the progress of her labour, continuous CTG fetal heart monitoring and reporting of abnormalities to the supervising midwife and the obstetric registrar (doctor). On admission to hospital at term in labour, her admission CTG was normal. Despite her waters breaking and increasingly painful contractions needing Entonox and then epidural pain relief, for four hours the midwife failed to start continuous CTG monitoring or closely monitor the progress of labour. When CTG monitoring finally began, the midwife failed to call for urgent obstetric help, despite abnormalities indicating the unborn baby was suffering from hypoxia.  By the time a doctor saw the CTG trace and delivered the baby by emergency caesarean section, the baby had already suffered a permanent brain injury from HIE.

We served court proceedings on the defendant NHS trust, which admitted liability. We obtained judgment and interim (advance) payments totalling £1.5 million to meet her urgent needs for care, adapted accommodation, therapies, equipment and educational support whilst the case was adjourned until she was old enough for her long-term needs to be accurately assessed. She has severe spastic/dystonic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, epilepsy, significant neurodevelopmental impairment, profound learning difficulties and profound motor impairment. She has impaired vision and language, and her parents communicate with her by touch. She is unlikely ever to be able to use assistive technology.  She is fed entirely by gastrostomy and will be totally dependent on others for all of her needs for the rest of her shortened life. The final settlement provided our client with a £3.25m lump sum with lifelong, annual payments up to £320,000pa for care and case management.  

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