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simon mansfield

Posted 15 January 2018
by Simon Mansfield

Damages of £1m for boy left with severe Erb’s Palsy after errors during birth – Y

stethoscope used in regards with medical negligence solicitors

Simon Mansfield, Associate Solicitor, has secured a £1m settlement for a 14 year old boy (Y) who was left with a severe Erb’s Palsy after hospital staff failed to follow the correct manoeuvres when attempting to overcome shoulder dystocia (an obstetric emergency when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone).

Rather than attempting further manoeuvres when the initial attempts to free the shoulder had failed, the delivering doctor applied excessive downward traction (which is known to be particularly damaging) on the fetal head to achieve delivery. This caused significant damage to the nerves in Y’s right shoulder (Erb’s Palsy) which could otherwise have been avoided.

Despite 3 surgical procedures Y has been left with significantly reduced function in the injured arm and broadly speaking he has less than half the range of active movement in the injured right arm when compared to the unharmed left. Grip and muscle strength are also substantially reduced. As a result of these injuries, Y will need ongoing treatment for the remainder of his life and assistance when living independently as an adult.

Although liability for Y’s injuries was admitted at an early stage the value of the case remained in dispute and assessment had to be delayed for a number of years until there was a greater degree of certainty about prognosis. Settlement was however finally reached at a Round Table Meeting with the Defendant a few weeks before a Trial that was listed to start this month.

Simon Mansfield provided the following comment:

“I am delighted to have achieved this result for Y. He is a very bright and determined young man who looks to have a great future ahead of him regardless of his Erb’s Palsy. Nonetheless, he will, because of his injury, have substantial difficulties with many things that the rest of us take for granted for the remainder of his life. These will arise particularly when he comes to live independently of his family (who have provided great support to date) and when he looks to have children. It is gratifying to know therefore that Y has the benefit of a substantial award that will give him the reassurance he needs and let him get on with living the rest of his life to its full potential”.

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

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About the author

simon mansfield

Simon Mansfield

Associate and Solicitor

Associate within the clinical negligence team and a member of Devon and Exeter Medico-Legal Association