In 2020, an £8million settlement was achieved for an 18-year-old man who had suffered low blood sugar at birth which went undetected. This left him with permanent brain damage including spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, visual problems and epilepsy for which he requires 24-hour care.
£8 Million Awarded to Man With Permanent Brain Injury Caused by Undetected Hypoglycaemia at Birth
Due to foetal distress, the claimant was born by emergency caesarean section. Despite this, he was born in a good condition and did not require resuscitation at birth. However, following his initial feed he showed no interest in feeding and the next morning was noted to be grizzly and making grunting noises. His temperature readings also fell.
His condition severely deteriorated and he was transferred to the Special Care Baby Unit. His blood sugars were measured and found to be extremely low. He became floppy and blue and started fitting. It was only then he was diagnosed with low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). He remained on SCBU for almost two weeks.
It was admitted that there had been a failure to adequately monitor his feeding, check his blood sugar levels and take steps to correct them, as well as a failure to act on the fall in his temperature. If properly monitored and treated, he would have avoided the brain injury.
As a consequence, he suffered profound brain damage, including spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, epilepsy and visual problems.
During the legal case there was a three year stay of proceedings to allow for neuropsychological and speech and language therapy to be trialled in order to give a better understanding of his likely prognosis.
Physically, his fine motor skills are impaired and he has an abnormal gait which requires orthotics. For longer distances or uneven surfaces, he requires a wheelchair. Due to his mobility issues, he requires single level accommodation. It was anticipated that his life expectancy would be around 72 to 73 years of age and that, as he aged, he would increasingly need a wheelchair.
He is often verbally and physically aggressive and requires 24-hour care, sometimes needing two carers. He also suffers with anxiety. He will never be able to work or manage his own affairs due to his cognitive disabilities. He required special education tuition.
Case approved at court
Lump sum of £8,000,000 (inclusive of interim payments)
Plus annual payments of:
- £260,000 per annum for care and case management linked to ASHE 6115 80th percentile, payable for the remainder of C's life.
An estimate breakdown of the award was:
Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £250,000
Past care costs: £219,314
Future loss of earnings/pension: £1,025,619
Treatment and therapies: £298,417
Aids and equipment: £423,960
Additional Holiday costs: £543,110
Court of Deputyship costs: £1,184,727
Other miscellaneous expenses: £197,000