Michael Redfern KC and Henry Vanderpump settle £4m clinical negligence case

February 21, 2024

ZH a protected party by her litigation friend HH and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

ZH was born in June 2014 at 36+5 weeks gestation and weighed below the 2nd centile. She was pale, floppy, severely acidotic and not breathing. She had suffered chronic partial hypoxia followed by a terminal bradycardia. She is profoundly damaged with severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy, intractable drug resistant epilepsy, feeding difficulties, visual impairment and global development delay. She cannot perform any activity of daily living, and so is dependent upon 24-hour care. Life expectancy is severely impaired and unpredictable. She is nine years of age and survival is heavily reliant upon highly skilled, devoted family care in less than satisfactory accommodation. She is incapable of any useful movement.

Breach of duty and causation were heavily in dispute throughout lengthy litigation. The specialties involved were obstetrics, paediatric neurology, paediatric anaesthesia, neonatology and neuroradiology. The issues included intrauterine growth delay as opposed to small for gestational age, growth chart error at 32 weeks, concealed abruption and failure to deliver before 36+5 weeks. The Claimant’s case was that if she had been delivered 10 minutes earlier than she was she would have been born intact.

On the best case for the Claimant the value of the claim was probably between £8 and £9 million. At a spirited, lengthy joint settlement meeting a figure of £4million was agreed and subsequently approved by the High Court. The settlement allows the family to purchase and adapt suitable accommodation and provide suitable care.

Michael Redfern KC  and Henry Vanderpump were instructed by Forbes Solicitors, Blackburn.