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Posted 4 October 2018
by Endurance Arthur

Substandard Care Causing Birth Severe Brain Damage in North Devon Leads to Substantial Damages of £19.92 million

Baby in a wrap

I note The Guardian online article, and am sorry to see yet another birth injury making the headlines, as the consequences of these errors are truly devasting. In December 2017, I settled a similar case for a 9-year-old Billie (not her real name) who cannot be named for legal reasons, who was awarded £19.92 million after negligent care during her birth at North Devon District Hospital left her with severe brain damage and a reduced life expectancy.

Billie has severe problems with mobility, co-ordination, swallowing, speech and communication. She is difficult to understand and will need life-long care and assistance.
At the settlement hearing last year, it was recognised that no amount of money can ever turn back the clock to undo the damage done to Billie. The settlement was structured so a smaller lump sum was available for immediate and medium-term needs but with the majority of the money to be paid on a yearly basis for as long as Billie lives. This is extremely fair as it ensures that her needs are met but there is no “windfall” on Billie’s death.

Billie is charming, bright, lively and funny. Experts on both sides in the case agreed that, with the right input and support, Billie has the potential to succeed in life (to include bringing up a family of her own) despite the extent of the problems she must live with. 10 months on from the settlement, a specially adapted house is nearing completion for Billie. She has been receiving additional help from external carers and a case manager, to ease the strain on her family. Special equipment has been purchased for her and she has been receiving ongoing therapy for her physical needs. Psychological therapy is also in place to help Billie to come to terms with her frustrations about making herself understood and with knowing that she is different from her peers, and why.

If you need any advice regarding a matter similar to this, then please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of medical negligence solicitors.

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About the author

Endurance Arthur

Partner and Solicitor

Partner and solicitor in the medical negligence department and a member of the Law Society's Clinical Negligence Panel