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Child receives £1M for injuries sustained at birth arising from medical negligence

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A 13 year old girl has received £1,000,000 for the group two brachial plexus injury she sustained during her birth in 2005. As a result of her injuries, she underwent two surgical procedures, her range of movement was restricted and she experienced separation anxiety.

In 2005 the girl was born at a hospital of the Defendant Trust. During the procedure staff experienced difficulty in delivering her shoulders. As a result, the girl sustained a permanent brachial plexus injury to her right non-dominant arm.

The girl’s injury was classified as a group two injury according to the Narakas and Gilbert/Tassin classification. Her right upper limb was noticeably shorter than the left upper limb and the strength of grip in the right hand was reduced.

In 2006, the girl underwent a surgical shoulder release and in 2009 she underwent a de-rotation osteotomy. Following surgery she was left with two scars, one which did not heal well. Despite surgery she continued to experience a significant reduction in her range of motion and a cosmetic abnormality of the shoulder position. She experienced difficulties with clothing and activities of daily living.

The girl was also diagnosed as suffering from a separation anxiety disorder of mild to moderate severity. The condition affected her ability to mix with her peers and extended family.

The damage to her right upper limb and the surgical scars were permanent. The girl and her family were advised to undergo treatment to help with her separation anxiety disorder. As a result of the injury it was anticipated that she would continue to experience difficulties with clothing and activities of daily living and that she would be disadvantaged when performing activities requiring strength or prolonged elevation of the right upper limb. It was anticipated that she would pursue a professional vocation, would transition to part-time work towards the end of her working career and would retire earlier than her peer group. Her life expectancy was not affected by the injury.

The girl’s litigation friend instructed a medical negligence solicitor and brought an action against the Defendant alleging that it was negligent in how it managed the delivery.

Liability was admitted and the Court approved the settlement. The claim settled for a total sum of £1,000,000 with no particular breakdown for damages.

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that come from the spinal cord in the neck and travel down the arm. These nerves control the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, as well as provide feeling in the arm. Some brachial plexus injuries are minor and will completely recover in several weeks. Other injuries are severe enough to cause some permanent disability in the arm.

Many adult injuries will not recover on their own and early evaluation is essential. Some injuries can recover with time and therapy. The time for recovery can be weeks or months. When an injury is unlikely to improve, several surgical techniques can be used to improve the recovery.

Johnathan Steventon-Kiy, specialist medical negligence lawyer, says:

“Brachial plexus injuries are very serious and can often leave the sufferer severely debilitated. This story is an example of this and whilst no particular breakdown for damages was agreed, the damages will have reflected the Claimant’s future costs of care and assistance, future loss of earnings, DIY, home maintenance and gardening costs, childcare, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, aids and equipment, transport, holidays, hair care, clothing alterations and beauty therapy amongst others.”

Contact our specialist medical negligence solicitors on 0800 413 463 or visit for more information. You can also follow us on twitter using the handle @biscoesmedneg