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Written on 26th March 2020 by Richard Money-Kyrle

Boyes Turner’s medical negligence team have negotiated a $23 million damages settlement for a boy who suffered kernicterus brain damage in the first few days after his birth.

The community midwives who visited him at home failed to recognise that he had jaundice and take appropriate action.  Without treatment, his jaundice developed into kernicterus, a rare but preventable condition in which the liver is unable to process the excess levels of bilirubin (yellow pigment in the blood) which then penetrate the blood-brain barrier causing permanent damage to the baby’s brain.

Our client has four-limb cerebral palsy with severely impaired communication and vision, and profound deafness. He will always be totally dependent on others and needs full-time nursing care. His life expectation has been significantly shortened.

Although now resident in America, our client was born in the UK and the negligent treatment which caused his injury took place in this country. Accordingly, we pursued the claim in the English courts under English law and the defendant admitted negligence, eventually conceding full liability. We obtained judgment and interim payments of £1,350,000 to provide for our client’s urgent needs whilst the full extent of his claim was valued.

Within Boyes Turner’s specialist claims team, Richard Money-Kyrle worked closely with US qualified attorney and Court of Protection partner, Ruth Meyer, to help the family rent a suitable apartment, set up essential care, access therapies and specialist education and purchase necessary equipment using interim payments. This ensured that the severely disabled claimant could make use of some of his compensation an early stage in the case, rather than having to wait for the final outcome of the claim.

The final, negotiated settlement, which will be managed under a US based trust, included a lump sum payment of $10.3 million, together with US inflation-linked PPOs which will  increase with the child’s age and rising care needs from $282,000 to $457,000 per annum.   

Boyes Turner’s acclaimed clinical negligence team are highly experienced in birth trauma and neonatal brain damage claims. We strive for early liability judgments, so that we can obtain substantial interim payments to alleviate our clients’ hardship and provide urgent essential care, therapies, equipment and adapted accommodation.

Our integrated, multi-disciplinary expertise enables us to support our brain injured clients with Court of Protection deputyship or trusteeship and special educational support.

Our experienced approach to claims of the utmost severity and our commitment to the highest standards of client care result in settlements which not only provide the best possible compensation for each individual but prioritise workable implementation, provide long-term peace of mind and support the disabled family member’s participation in family life.

If you are caring for someone with cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence please contact our team on 0118 952 7219 or email