A severely disabled 6-year-old girl from Basildon is due to be the recipient of a multi-million-pound settlement. It comes after her spine damage by a doctor during the birth procedure.
The girl now faces the rest of her life in a wheelchair, after a ventouse cup, a device used to assist in delivering babies, was used on the wrong area of her head. Her lawyers successfully argued that the device was used with unnecessary force, which was reflected in the extent of the spinal injury. On top of this, the child suffered facial injuries, from which she later recovered.
The hospital initially denied responsibility, but after a meeting at London’s High Court have now accepted a 50% liability payment. The girl’s lawyers, JMW, revealed that there were severe anomalies in the doctor’s CV, with the experience on the CV not matching that which the trust he was employed by had on record. This shift was the doctor’s only shift with the agency.
Beth Reay, representing the girl, and also a partner in JMW’s specialist medical negligence team, said: “The trust and the doctor denied any wrongdoing over a number of years, but we always maintained the severe spinal cord injury which the child sustained strongly suggested something had gone very seriously wrong during delivery.”
Reay added, “It is a relief for the child’s family that in reaching this compromise she will now be compensated.”
The claim has ventured into the millions due to a loss of future earnings, as well as care needs, and a spokesman for Basildon Hospital has confirmed the settlement.
The girl has limited use of her hands and arms, while suffering a walking impairment, as well as incontinence. She is an intelligent child, but she has been left with a lack of future work opportunity due to the negligence, and the family are said to be relieved that her future looks set to be more financially secure.