‘Inspirational’ Birth Injuries Girl Receives Settlement Worth £16 Million


The zest for life shown by seriously disabled children and the selfless care lavished upon them by their families are often the subject of judicial praise. However, in the case of a nine-year-old girl who received a compensation package worth nearly £16 million, a judge described her courage as truly inspirational.

The girl’s brain was starved of oxygen at or around the time of her birth. She suffers from cerebral palsy, left-sided paralysis and restricted mobility. She has, however, learnt to walk up to 10 paces without assistance. She suffers from epilepsy and some visual impairment, and her physical difficulties may increase as she grows older.

After a clinical negligence claim was launched on her behalf, the NHS trust that bore responsibility for her delivery admitted breach of duty but disputed the extent to which failings in care had caused or contributed to her injury. A contested trial of her case was, however, avoided after the trust agreed to pay 82.5 per cent of the full value of her claim.

Following further negotiations, a final settlement of her claim with a capitalised value of £15,997,411 was achieved. Together with a lump sum of £6.2 million, she would receive annual, six-figure, index-linked sums that would be used to fund her private care throughout what was expected to be her long life.

Approving the settlement, the judge noted that it was the product of very careful consideration by legal teams on both sides. He further agreed that the mother should receive £175,000 of the settlement total in recognition of her gratuitous care for her daughter. She was a model parent and that sum did not begin adequately to reflect the personal and career sacrifices she had made.

The girl, the judge noted, takes joy in many aspects of her life: she has a winning sense of humour, plays a musical instrument, enjoys an active lifestyle and is popular with her classmates. Describing her as an inspiration, the judge hoped that the settlement would enable her to achieve her full potential.

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