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Proud to support Erb’s Palsy Awareness Week – Tom’s story
Not just a physical injury
Tom sustained a severe Group II obstetric brachial plexus injury with damage to his C5, C6 and C7 nerves following shoulder dystocia during his birth in 1996. Although Tom’s mother sought to bring a claim in the 1990s she was advised at the time that the case did not have prospects of success. Tom subsequently sought legal representation again in his late teens on realising that his injury was going to have a significant impact on his life.
Tom underwent 2 separate surgical procedures in an effort to repair nerve damage and improve function. Despite this, as a result of his injuries, he still had significant limitations in the movement of the left arm and shoulder joint as a result of the nerve damage sustained. Tomalso suffered from pain on walking in his legs as a consequence of the scarring arising from the nerve grafts taken.
For many years Tomcoped well with his injury and he performed well at school. However, with the transition from GCSE to A-level, he went from a potential Oxbridge candidate to leaving school with a C and two Ds at A-level. It was only through investigations associated with his case that it was identified that Tomhad been struggling psychologically for some time and that he had developed major depression. It was also established that although Tomhad grades sufficient to still study at university he chose not to do so because he did not feel that he could cope, living in student accommodation, away from the family home.
On leaving school Tomwent to college with a hope of become a qualified welder but these attempts were also thwarted by his injury and the limited movement in his injured arm.
Tomis currently still unemployed but now looking to get work in the theatre. He was also recently able to settle his damages claim for £1,350,000 with approximately £600,000 being recovered to reflect his past and future lost earnings.
Whilst the decision making in every claim is unique, Tom’s case demonstrates the importance of considering the potential psychological consequences of an Erb’s Palsy injury and the need for careful decision making when it comes to the timing of the settlement.
Had the case settled when Tomwas much younger, then these issues would probably not have come to light and it is doubtful whether he would have recovered such substantial sums to reflect his lost earnings.
Tozers are the leading medical negligence solicitors in the country in Erb’s Palsy claims having conducted over 260 claims in the last 20 years.