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clair hemming

Posted 22 January 2018
by Clair Hemming

£1,100,000 Damages Award for Girl with Erb’s Palsy



Clair Hemming and Michelle Beckett recently secured damages of £1.1 million for a 17-year-old girl with brachial plexus palsy. The girl Z, whose identity is protected under the terms of a Court order, suffered an injury to her left brachial plexus during her birth in 2000.

The Trust responsible for the hospital where Z was born admitted that they mismanaged her birth and caused her injury, but they disputed the amount of compensation that should be paid.

Z suffered a severe injury which was treated with physiotherapy and splinting. The medical expert advised that she would benefit from surgery in the future to improve her range of movement and cosmetic appearance. In addition, it was likely that in the future, Z would develop degenerative arthropathy of the shoulder joint and/or rotator cuff problems which would require surgery. Any surgery would not, however, make a big difference to Z’s capabilities and as such a significant care package would be required.

Although the case had not been listed for Trial, the Defendant was persuaded to participate in an early Joint Settlement Meeting (JSM) with the aim of taking advantage of the favourable discount rate for personal injury claims. Such would allow Z to recover significantly more damages. After lengthy negotiations at the JSM last month the Defendant agreed to pay £1,100,000 in damages.

Commenting on the outcome of the claim Clair Hemming said:

“I am delighted with the settlement we managed to achieve for Z, which was very much a team effort. Z is a lovely young lady, whom I am full of admiration for given her determination not to let her injury hold her back. I am also pleased that we were able to reach an early settlement and keep the costs to the public purse to a minimum.”

 Tozers have strong links with the Erb’s Palsy Group, a national charity which offers advice, information and support to families affected by Erb’s Palsy. We have worked closely with the charity for 24 years assisting those who wish to bring a negligence claim but also offering our support to help the Charity achieve their aim of increasing awareness and promoting a better understanding of the condition.

If you need any assistance regarding a matter like this, then please do not hesitate to speak with our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors.

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About the author

clair hemming

Clair Hemming

Partner and Solicitor

Partner and solicitor in the medical negligence department and a member of the Devon & Exeter Medico Legal Society and the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel