Some £10 million settlement achieved in cerebral palsy case

On 11th May 2015, Mrs Justice Lang approved the settlement of the Claimant's case as to quantum in EGW v York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

Background

This was a claim by the infant Claimant for damage caused by the Defendants shortly after her birth on 6th August 2003. Within minutes of her birth, the Claimant’s condition deteriorated and she demonstrated signs of respiratory distress syndrome. There were no medical staff at the hospital and when a doctor was eventually summoned, it took 30 minutes for him to arrive during which time the Claimant’s condition further worsened. No detailed observations of respiration, temperature and the Claimant’s general condition were recorded for some time. The midwives should have carried out regular observations and summoned an ambulance much earlier than in fact was done so that the Claimant could have been transferred to York Hospital where she would have arrived before the respiratory arrest that eventually occurred. The Defendants admitted that the Claimant should have been transferred to hospital sooner and that if this had occurred, the brain damage she sustained due to the respiratory collapse would have been avoided. Judgment was entered on her behalf on 14th October 2013.

The settlement

The case was settled for a lump sum payment of £4,300,000 plus a periodical payment of £102,500 per annum from now until the Claimant is 19 and then £210,000 per annum thereafter for the rest of her life. With a capitalised equivalent (at 2.5% discount rate) of £9.5 million this reaches some £10 million.

The Claimant suffers from a mixed dystonic and spastic cerebral palsy with quite marked dyskinesia or impairment of voluntary movements resulting in jerky motions. She has severe and permanent physical, functional, cognitive and communication difficulties. Not only is her life expectancy reduced, but she will never be capable of living without 24 hour care; never be unable to work; remain wheelchair dependent and will not have the capacity to manage any of her affairs. She will require ongoing therapeutic intervention for the rest of her life. However, she has retained some of her intellectual abilities. She functions within the borderline to low average range of ability. She can operate an iPad and a touch switch with her left hand. She is a popular and personable young woman who has a number of friends at school.

The settlement allows the Claimant to live in a suitable property with a supported care regime and suitable therapies including a hydrotherapy at home. Teriodical payments will provide long term financial peace of mind for the Claimant’s representatives and will last for the rest of her lifetime.

The Claimant was represented by Robert Glancy QC and Robert Hunter.

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