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£7.9 million award for Carlisle birth injury

A North Cumbria boy has been awarded a £7.9 million pound damages package following brain injury at his birth.

A North Cumbria boy has been awarded a £7.9 million pound damages package following brain injury at his birth. The money will ensure the boy will have full-time support for the rest of his life.

The settlement was approved in London’s High Court today. The boy will receive a one-off payment of £2,550,000 followed by annual payments throughout his life.  The case was brought by his mother.

The boy was born in 1999 at the former City Maternity Hospital in Carlisle. Oxygen deprivation over a four hour period meant he suffered severe brain injuries. As a result of the hospital’s negligent delay in his delivery, the boy now has catastrophic disabilities including cerebral palsy which affects all four limbs as well as difficulties with tasks requiring fine motor skills and severe behaviour problems. He will never be able to support himself financially and needs 24 hour care.

Speaking after the settlement was agreed, the boy’s mother said, “It is fantastic that we now have the money we need to support him, but he will never be able to enjoy life like the rest of us and the bottom line is that this should never have happened in the first place.”

She added, “Our family has had a terrible few years and I have come close to placing him into care because of the lack of support from statutory services. To be put in that position with your own child is awful. It’s been a hard ride.”

The family is being advised by Vicki Jagger, from Burnetts in Carlisle, along with Martin Spencer QC and Jane Tracy Forster from Hailsham Chambers in London.

Vicki, a nationally recognised medical law expert who specialises in obstetric and neonatal clinical negligence claims, said, “The award today will ensure that a care package can be put in place for the boy so that he can live as independently as possible in his own home which will be especially adapted to meet his complex needs.”

Vicki continued, “The boy’s case was funded by Legal Aid but, under the government’s current Proposals for the Reform of Legal Aid in England and Wales, other children like the boy will not be able to access the financial support essential to bring this kind of claim: children who have been severely disabled because of mistakes in their care made by the State will not have adequate access to justice if these proposals come into effect.”

The boy’s award will be paid into the Court of Protection and administered for his benefit to ensure his substantial and life-long care needs can be met.

7th June 2011

Note to Editor: 

Further information on cerebral palsy can be found on the Scope website at http://www.scope.org.uk/help-and-information/cerebral-palsy-and-associated-impairments/introduction-cerebral-palsy

Further information on the campaign against the proposed cuts to Legal Aid can be found at http://panstudio.co.uk/project/sound-off-for-justice/..

Published: Wednesday 8th June 2011

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