In 2020, a seven-year-old girl who is not expected to reach her 30th birthday received over £4million compensation for quadriplegic cerebral palsy caused by delays at birth.

Over £4 Million Awarded to a Seven-year-old Girl With Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Significantly Reduced Life Expectancy

It was alleged that there was a delay of some 12 to 14 hours in her delivery. Signs of foetal distress during labour were not acted on promptly, resulting in an emergency caesarean section and the need for extensive resuscitation at birth.

These delays in her mother's labour caused brain haemorrhage and raised intracranial pressure, for which a shunt was fitted into her brain to relieve pressure. An MRI brain scan demonstrated a pattern of brain injury typical of near total lack of oxygen. It was alleged that if the signs of foetal distress had been acted on some 12 to 14 hours earlier, and a caesarean section performed then, her brain injury would have been avoided.

The defendants admitted liability and that the delays had caused or materially contributed to her brain injury.

The girl suffered quardiplegic cerebral palsy (in all four limbs) and was left with profound learning difficulties and lack of verbal communication skills due to the brain injury. She functioned at the level of an 8 to 10 month old; she can roll but is unable to sit unsupported and requires the use of a wheelchair. She is doubly incontinence and has to be tube fed; she underwent surgery to relieve reflux.

Becase of the extent of her disability, she will not be able to work and will be unable to live independently, requiring 24-hour care. It was anticipated she would have a reduced life expectancy to 29 years.

Out of court settlement:

Lump sum £4,027,341.08

Plus annual payments of:

  • £172,000 until age 11
  •  £205,000 until age 18
  • £280,000 for the rest of her adult life.

An estimated breakdown of her compensation:

Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £251,708.82

Past care costs and family expenses: £200,000

Future loss of earnings: £590,000

Future accommodation costs: £800,000

Future household costs: £60,000

Future therapy costs: £600,000

Future assistive technology costs: £75,000

Future aids and equipment costs: £280,000

Future travel and transport costs: £250,000

Future additional holiday costs: £350,000

Future orthopaedic costs: £30,000

Future education costs: £100,000

Future DIY, decorating and gardening costs: £15,000

Future Court of Protection and deputyship costs: £400,000

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