Medical Negligence Claim for a Mishandled Birth Heard in Court

A High Court judge has adjourned a medical negligence claim for a mishandled birth for solicitors to work out how much compensation a twelve-year-old boy should receive.

James Robshaw was born at the Lincoln County Hospital in 2002 after a CTG trace indicating an abnormal foetal heartbeat was ignored by medical staff. Due to the oversight, James was delivered by Caesarean Section much later than he should have been and due to being deprived of oxygen in the womb, now suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

Through his mother – Suzanne Adams – James made a medical negligence claim for a mishandled birth against the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, who failed to acknowledge liability for James´ birth injuries until 2009. An interim payment of compensation was paid to Suzanne while negotiations were conducted to agree a final settlement.

Unfortunately, solicitors working towards a final settlement of James´ medical negligence claim for a mishandled birth could not agree on how much compensation the young boy was entitled to. Solicitors representing James believed he should receive a lump sum payment of £11.2 million plus index-linked annual payments, while NHS solicitors would not agree to a lump sum payment beyond £7.45 million.

The medical negligence claim for a mishandled birth went to the High Court in London, where it was heard by Mr Justice Foskett. The judge was told of the problems in resolving the medical negligence claim for a mishandled birth and ruled on the key issues that were preventing the claim from being finally resolved. Judge Foskett sent the two parties away to reassess their calculations, and to return after Easter with an acceptable agreement.

At the hearing, the court also heard an apology read to Suzanne and James by Pauline pratt – Acting Chief Nurse at the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. In the apology Ms Pratt said: “United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and the NHS Litigation Authority are deeply sorry for what happened and for the impact this has had upon James and his family”.

She continued: “The trust accepted, in 2009, liability for the injuries which James sustained during his birth some 12 years ago. Although we cannot turn back the clock, we hope that the compensation, once agreed, will provide the reassurance that James’ future care needs will be met.”