Compensation for Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Approved in Court

A young girl, who was brain damaged at birth due to medical negligence, has had a settlement of compensation for athetoid cerebral palsy approved at Leeds High Court.

Eight year old Ruby Curtis from Garforth in West Yorkshire was born at St James Hospital in Leeds on August 28th 2005, but had been deprived of oxygen in the womb when staff at the hospital failed to notice that her mother´s uterus had ruptured.

Due to the lack of oxygen, Ruby was born with athetoid cerebral palsy – a condition which affects all four of her limbs, her head and trunk, and causes involuntary muscular movements. Ruby needs assistance in all aspects of her everyday life, including personal care, education and feeding.

Although Ruby can make sounds, she is unable to speak and uses her eyes to communicate. Following her birth, Ruby´s mother gave up work to be her full-time carer and Ruby now attends the Percy Hedley School in Killingworth which specialises in educating children with cerebral palsy.

Ruby´s parents – Steve and Lisa – made a claim for athetoid cerebral palsy compensation after seeking legal advice and, following an eight year legal battle, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust admitted that mistakes had been made during Ruby´s birth and issued a formal apology.

At the High Court in Leeds, Judge Mark Gosnell was told that a settlement of compensation for athetoid cerebral palsy had been agreed, which will see Ruby receive £2.95 million as a lump sum payment to pay for her care, education costs and special accommodation near her school, with ongoing annual tax-free payments to provide the care Ruby needs when she reaches adulthood.

Approving the settlement, Judge Mark Gosnell said he hoped that the compensation for athetoid cerebral palsy would secure “a better family life for both you and Ruby” and that the apology made by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust would give them some sense of closure.