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Multi Million Pound Award for Birth Brain Damage

A North East boy has been awarded a multi million pound damages package following brain injury at his birth. The money will ensure six year old Jensen Carter will have full-time support for the rest of his life.

The settlement was agreed in London’s High Court today by Mr Justice Roderick Evans. Jensen will receive a one-off payment followed by annual payments throughout his life.  The case was brought by his mother, Gina Carter.

Jensen was born on 26th October 2003 at the University Hospital of North Durham. In November 2008, the County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust admitted liability for their negligent delay in Jensen’s delivery which left him with catastrophic disabilities: Jensen suffers from cerebral palsy which affects all four limbs as well as communication and feeding problems. He will never be able to support himself financially.

Angela Curran, a clinical negligence solicitor from Burnetts in Newcastle who specializes in birth trauma cases acted for Jensen.

She said, “The use of the drug Syntocinon is common in obstetrics when labour is prolonged, but in this case, when there were clear signs of feotal distress, it was a catastrophic decision and one which contravened the guidelines of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

“After years of struggling for justice for Jensen, Gina and her family can now look forward and start to provide Jensen with the equipment he needs. Jensen has been assessed by an army of experts including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and neurologists. Our hope is that technology will help Jensen to experience some independent mobility. He is an intelligent child and helping him to communicate verbally is a priority. “

Speaking after the settlement hearing, Gina said, “We knew all along a huge mistake had been made with Jensen’s delivery. He was so ill and I was in intensive care. We have been trying ever since to get answers. Before I found Angela, I had already been knocked back twice by solicitors, but Angela agreed something was not right. This settlement will be essential to give Jensen the care, therapy and equipment he needs to make the best of his life.”

She continued, “Jensen is an adorable, handsome character. He doesn’t deserve to be like this but what upsets me even more is I know from talking to other mothers that these mistakes are still being made. My 10 year old daughter Sasha has been a rock and is fantastic with Jensen, but families should not have to go through what we have been through.” 

Since 2007, Jensen has attended the Percy Hedley School, a specialist school for children with cerebral palsy, children with hearing or visual impairments and children with speech, language and communication difficulties where he has made great progress.

In recognition of the help Jensen has received, Gina set up the Tim Carter Appeal eighteen months ago in memory of her late husband. The Appeal aims to raise funds to enable the Percy Hedley Foundation to build a new hydrotherapy pool. Gina and the Percy Hedley fundraising team have already raised a staggering £500,000 towards the target of £1.2million.

Gina said, “The pool will be built in Tim’s name and will a huge benefit to Jensen, Percy Hedley and other disabled people in the area. It has been a very difficult few years, but now we can look forward and achieve something positive out of a tragic situation.”
Jensen’s award will be paid into the Court of Protection and administered for Jensen’s benefit to ensure his substantial and life-long care needs can be met.

The Carter family live in Washington.

Published: Thursday 24th June 2010
Categorised: Medical Negligence

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