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Massive pay out against NHS Trust for son starved of oxygen at birth

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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After pursuing a clinical negligence claim that has gone on for over seven years, a family have finally received an award for the significant injuries their son, Lewis, sustained at birth back in 2002.
The problems experienced by Lewis were during the course of labour, when medical staff did not deliver Lewis quickly enough when he got into difficulties and was starved of oxygen. Solicitors argued that staff failed in their duty to spot clear signs of foetal distress which left Lewis permanently brain damaged. Lewis now 7 years old, suffers from epileptic fits on a daily basis; neither can he walk or stand or sit unaided. Lewis will always be dependant on the care of his devoted family and others.
The claim was brought against Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust who have agreed to pay £9.7 million through a High Court Settlement to cover Lewis' long term care needs. The Trust have now also provided a formal apology to the family.
Although an award and the end of protracted litigation spells a great relief to the family of Lewis, nonetheless as his parents state 'the compensation can never, ever, reverse the damage and pain that Lewis suffered'.
Significant awards of this nature are granted where a catastrophic injury has occurred and signify the much needed care and assistance that will be required in the future in order to provide Lewis with all he needs for the rest of his life.
As a solicitor dealing with a variety of clinical negligence claims on a daily basis, these types of claims do sadly exist. In fact statistics highlight that more than 1,000 babies each year in Britain sustain brain damage as they are starved of oxygen at birth. The importance of obtaining compensation, and at the correct level, for families in these types of claim can never be under-estimated.
The role of lawyers dealing with families in this scenario, where there has been negligent treatment, which has directly resulted in the problems that the client now faces, is to ensure that the money awarded compensates for all the harm and suffering sustained by those involved, together with all past and future financial losses (which includes everything from care; equipment; educational and numerous other basic day to day requirements). The role that the clinical negligence lawyer faces in such cases therefore can also never be underestimated.
By clinical negligence solicitor, Sonia Marshall