Emily's story

Emily was her mother’s second child; her first had been delivered via caesarean section. Emily’s mother had not been notified of the risks of a vaginal birth after having had a previous caesarean.  Had she done so she would have not agreed to a vaginal delivery. Our investigation found that she had not been given the information necessary to make this choice - with devastating results.  Emily was born in a very poor condition as she had suffered a brain injury at birth and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. 

Emily’s mother was admitted to hospital after her waters had broken. A CTG trace was commenced which showed that the baby was doing well. Later that evening, a junior doctor was asked to review the trace which showed signs that Emily was in distress but the significance was not recognised by the doctors and so there was no change to the plan to proceed with a natural delivery.  

Emily’s parents approached us for help. We secured legal aid funding and started the investigation. We met regularly with Emily’s parents, and involved them in every step of the investigation. We want to make sure that as a team of lawyers, we are approachable and that families feel comfortable in picking up the phone and speaking to us. We remind clients daily that “it is your case” and we never lose sight of that. 

We instructed experienced experts who confirmed that Emily’s mother should have been given the information necessary to make an informed decision about how Emily would have been delivered. They also advised that the CTG trace should have resulted in an emergency caesarean section which would have avoided injury to Emily.   

We prepared a detailed letter of claim to the defendant Trust  which resulted in an admission of liability and that  Emily would have been born in a healthy condition, had she been delivered by caesarean section, without labour, or if the last hour of labour before delivery had been avoided. 

As soon as the liability was admitted, we started working on gathering the evidence required to ensure that Emily recovered the compensation she deserved to provide for her for the rest of her life. An interim payment of damages of £2 million was obtained to make life immediately easier for Emily and her family until a final settlement could be reached. 

The interim payment enabled Emily to move in to a new property, which better suited her needs. The new build property had wide doors to accommodate her wheelchair; a lift so that she could have free run of her new home, and not be reliant on others to carry her up the stairs. The interim payment also enabled Emily to move to a school that was more capable of meeting her educational needs. 

Emily also claimed the costs of building a hydrotherapy pool at her new home. The hydrotherapy pool is now built and Emily delights on using it on a regular basis to give her some time out of her wheelchair and a chance to have fun with her friends. 

The full claim settled following out of Court negotiations for a global sum of over £6m (one of the biggest of its time); money which Emily is using towards having 24 hour care from professional carers; physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and to ensure that her home is fitted with the most up to date assistive technology equipment, so that Emily can live as independently as possible.   

The award and resolution of the claim meant that Emily’s parents could now look to the future knowing that Emily would be financially secure for the rest of her life. They were reassured that professional carers could help care for Emily, allowing them the opportunity to simply be Emily’s mum and dad.

To respect the privacy of our clients, all names have been changed.

If your life has been affected by brain injury, and want to know what to do next, call us on 0345 241 0154 for some free advice.

Or, if you prefer, fill in our enquiry form and we’ll contact you.

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1

Emily's story

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