Giving birth is normally a happy event but, if things go wrong and your baby is injured, taking expert legal advice is the first step towards fair compensation. In one case, lawyers representing an 11-year-old girl negotiated a multi-million-pound settlement of her claim against the NHS.
The girl was stricken by severe cerebral palsy after being starved of oxygen during her delivery. After her family took legal action, the NHS trust that ran the hospital concerned admitted that there had been a failure to adequately monitor her progress in the womb during the latter stages of her mother's labour and made a full admission of liability.
The trust agreed to pay a lump sum of £3.8 million and index-linked, tax-free annual payments to cover the costs of the care that the girl will require throughout her life. Starting at £225,000 per year, those payments will increase in steps to £295,000 per year from her 25th birthday onwards. She will also receive smaller annual sums to reflect her lost earnings. In approving the settlement, the High Court paid tribute to the girl's parents for the exceptional care they had given her.