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Written by Susan Brown

Boyes Turner’s cerebral palsy team secured a multi-million dollar settlement for a boy whose cerebral palsy was caused by negligent maternity care.

Inadequate monitoring during the second (pushing) stage of labour left the maternity team unaware of dangerous abnormalities in the unborn baby’s heart rate, which should have prompted them to deliver the baby as an emergency by instrumental delivery. Instead the labour continued and he suffered permanent injury to his brain in the final minutes before birth, as a result of the negligent delay.

At birth the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he had inhaled grade III meconium. He needed resuscitation and the meconium was cleared from his airway. He was transferred to the neonatal unit and needed ventilation. He suffered hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) which has left him with severe dyskinetic/spastic cerebral palsy, epilepsy, some learning difficulties and impaired communication. He is partly gastrostomy-fed and will remain totally dependent on others throughout his shortened life.

The defendant hospital initially denied responsibility for our client’s injury but, a year later, admitted liability. We obtained a court judgment and significant interim (advance) payments to meet our client’s urgent needs. Our client’s final settlement reflects the international complexities of our client’s circumstances, and will cover the costs of meeting his needs arising from his severe disability in the country where he and his family now reside.

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

If you are caring for a child or a young adult with cerebral palsy or neurological injury caused by medical negligence and would like to find out more about making a claim, contact us, free and confidentially, on