Boy Left Brain Damaged by Malnutrition Receives £13 Million
Childbirth should always be a happy event but, if things go wrong, specialist lawyers are always there to ensure that fair compensation is paid. In one case, a teenager who suffered catastrophic brain damage as a baby because he was not getting enough milk received millions of pounds in NHS compensation.
The boy was his parents' first child. His mother's pregnancy was uneventful but he was delivered by emergency caesarean after signs of foetal distress were detected. His mother wanted to breastfeed him and contemporaneous notes made by midwives recorded him being put to the breast with no apparent difficulty.
On the second and third day after his birth, however, it became apparent that he was receiving insufficient nutrition and that his blood sugar levels had fallen dangerously low. Steps taken to feed him came too late to save him from permanent injury. His mother spoke very little English and it was claimed that midwives had failed to ensure she understood the needs of a breastfed baby.
The NHS trust that ran the hospital denied liability for his injuries but, following negotiations, agreed to pay 80 per cent of the full value of his clinical negligence claim. Together with a lump sum of £4.5 million, he will receive index-linked annual payments to cover the costs of his care for life. On a capitalised basis, the overall settlement was worth £13 million. In approving the settlement, the High Court paid tribute to the exceptional care given to the boy by his parents.