In addition to the agreement to pay £1.1m in damages, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have apologised for 'failings' in the care provided to the Claimant and his mother. The teenager suffered what is described as a “severe upper body injury at birth”, a significant injury which limits his activities and work prospects.
Criticisms of the Trust relate to staff failing to explain the risks of a natural birth to the mother during her pregnancy or to offer her a caesarean section. This is despite the mother having experienced difficulties during previous births.
The Claim was brought by a relative of the teenager who took legal action on his behalf.
Medical Negligence specialist Clair Hemming comments:
There is limited detail available in the article which is probably due to an anonymity Order being in place and efforts to protect the Claimant’s identity, as he is a child. However given my specialism in this area, I suspect that the Claimant sustained an injury to his brachial plexus during his birth and has Erb’s Palsy. Erb’s Palsy is a permanent disability which can vary in severity from at its worst a complete paralysis of the shoulder, arm and hand, to the milder end of the spectrum being a weaker and less functionally useful limb, which is none the less still disabling.
Tozers are the leading team in the Country for Erb’s Palsy compensation claims both in terms of case wins and the level of damages secured. We have a close relationship with the Erb’s Palsy Group who endorse our medical negligence team and recommend their members to us.
Brachial plexus injuries which happen during birth typically do so when shoulder dystocia occurs during vaginal birth. The baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone and health professionals pull to deliver the baby, thereby stretching the nerves in the neck. The risk of shoulder dystocia occurring is greater in some pregnancies and caesarean section should be offered in those circumstances. However, doctors and midwives are trained to deal with shoulder dystocia and it can be overcome without causing injury.
At Tozers we have acted for 100s of families, successfully secured damages for people with Erb’s Palsy over the last 25 + years. Levels of damages vary according to the severity of the disability and the individual Claimant. We have strived for many years to ensure that those with Erb’s Palsy receive a fair and proper level of compensation. An award of this level is not unusual in current times and in fact we have had a number exceeding the £1m level, some significantly so.
Read about our case wins here.
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