Richard Lodge acted for a child, the Claimant, in a cerebral palsy claim arising from the Claimant’s birth in 2011. The Claimant’s mother had a previous obstetric history of an emergency caesarean section delivery of her first child. This meant that she had a scar on her uterus from that surgery. There was a risk this would rupture during a subsequent attempt at vaginal delivery. The plan for the Claimant’s delivery was for a trial of vaginal delivery, but it was noted that there should be an alertness for signs of uterine scar rupture and a low threshold to proceed to caesarean section delivery if required.
The Claimant’s mother went into labour at a day short of 40 weeks gestation. It was the Claimant’s case that there was negligent mismanagement of the labour following the Claimant’s mother’s arrival at the hospital. CTG monitoring was commenced and showed signs of fetal distress with decelerations and repeated episodes of bradycardia. There were negligent failures to intervene and achieve delivery by caesarean section within the appropriate timescale. When the caesarean section took place it was discovered that the Claimant's mother had sustained a ruptured uterus. The Claimant was born in a profoundly asphyxiated condition and required resuscitation. Unfortunately the Claimant suffered severe brain damage and subsequently developed four limb cerebral palsy of a mixed dyskinetic/spastic type.
The Defendant admitted liability before court proceedings were issued and the parties reached agreement on the value of the claim at a round table settlement meeting in October 2019. The settlement, which was approved by the Court, comprised of a lump sum payment of £4.45m plus annual periodical payments for care and case management for life together with annual periodical payments for loss of earnings to commence from age 21.
The Judge, approving the terms of settlement, noted that the settlement is an excellent outcome and enables the Claimant’s family to buy a suitable house and to fund care and aids and equipment that will be required for the remainder of the Claimant’s life.