A settlement package for a severe athetoid cerebral palsy claim has been approved at Birmingham High Court in favour of a seven-year-old boy.
In 2002, Daniel Spencer was born at the Royal Worcester Hospital in poor condition after his mother -Sue – had suffered a ruptured placenta during labour and Daniel was deprived of oxygen in the womb. Due to the lack of oxygen, Daniel suffered brain damage and was diagnosed with severe athetoid cerebral palsy after his birth.
As a result of his birth injuries, Daniel has limited use of his arms and legs. He is unable to walk independently, has significant learning disabilities and will require twenty-four hour care for the rest of his life. Despite his disabilities, Daniel is described by his parents as a “wonderful boy” who continues to amaze them with the progress he makes.
Through his father – Oliver Spencer of Malvern in Worcestershire – Daniel made a severe athetoid cerebral palsy claim against the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, alleging that his injuries could have been avoided if the foetal heartrate had been properly monitored during his mother´s labour and during his delivery.
The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust admitted 75% liability for Daniel´s birth injuries and a settlement of the severe athetoid cerebral palsy claim was negotiated, consisting of a £2.7 million lump sum payment and annual index-linked payments of £116,000 – rising to £157,000 when Daniel reaches eighteen years of age.
As the severe athetoid cerebral palsy claim was made on behalf of a child, it had to be approved by a judge to ensure that it was in Daniel´s best interests. The approval hearing took place at Birmingham High Court, where the settlement was approved, after which Daniel´s father told the media:
“We were devastated when we found out that Daniel’s condition could have been avoided had mistakes not been made during his birth. It’s a huge relief knowing that the settlement will provide for a secure future for Daniel and that his specialist care needs will be met for the rest of his life. While we will always help out where we can, he needs the support of experts in the field who can help him to achieve as independent a life as possible.”