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Success Stories for Children’s Brain Injury Cases

If you are considering pursuing a child brain injury claim, browse our success stories to learn about the exceptional legal and emotional support we provide during a claim, what a case involves and what compensation for care, treatment, accommodation and loss of earnings you and your family may be entitled to.

Birth Injury & Cerebral Palsy

£33 million for a child client who experienced a catastrophic brain injury due to mistakes made at and around the time of their birth

Caroline Klage, Claudia Hillemand and Mollie Benjamin have secured a life changing settlement of approximately £33 million for a client who experienced a catastrophic brain injury due to mistakes made at and around the time of their birth. As a result, they have highly complex and permanent injuries, including difficulties with cognition, speech and language, mobility, sensory regulation and behaviour. Their condition is further complicated by severe and uncontrollable epilepsy. Consequently, they require round the clock specialist care.

Interim payments were secured throughout the life of the claim to fund the client’s complex needs, pending the final settlement, including intensive input from a large team of experienced and renowned therapists, aids, equipment, a suitable vehicle, professional care, psychological support for the family and private tutoring for our client’s siblings at times when their parents were unable to provide this support due to their having to meet our client’s own complex care needs. Also, with interim funds, a suitable property was purchased and adapted for our client. This has been carefully designed by an architect specialising in disability adaptations with input from the client’s family and rehabilitation team to ensure the scheme meets the client’s complex and specific needs both now and in the future. It features a sensory room, therapy room, carers’ accommodation and dedicated sensory garden and will mean the client’s care and therapy package can be delivered seamlessly whilst also providing a safe, engaging and fun environment in which the client can flourish and enjoy time and make happy memories with their family.

This is one of the highest ever clinical negligence settlements and will ensure this client’s complex needs are met for the duration of their lifetime.

Counsel was Stuart McKechnie QC and Helen Pooley, both of Deka Chambers.

£6 million settlement for our client who suffered a traumatic brain injury following the hospital discontinuing CTG monitoring for mother

Our client suffered a brain injury due to complications during birth at Newham University Hospital, run by Barts Health NHS Trust. They suffered bilateral athetoid cerebral palsy with abnormal muscle contractions causing involuntary writhing movements and severe disabilities. Our client remains completely dependent on others for all their care and mobility needs. Their mother pursued a claim for compensation, arguing that the medical staff’s negligence in discontinuing CTG monitoring led to the injury.

One of the many challenges in this case was to put in place the support needed, when the home the family were living in was simply too small for our client’s complex needs, including the need for 2:1 care, night care, storage, and equipment.  Despite the limitations of the home, we obtained interim payments to pay for professional care to help support the huge amount of dedicated care provided by the mother, case management, aids and equipment and therapies, including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy.  This care and case management and therapy package was instrumental in supporting the child until settlement was possible..  Intensive therapy enabled our client to demonstrate that, despite their severe learning and communication disabilities, they can communicate basic emotions, request attention from others, make choices, laugh, and appreciate visual humour, colours, sound, and music.

Lengthy negotiations led to a settlement of the claim, which the court had no hesitation in approving, for a lump sum of £6m  The settlement will allow our client to buy a home equipped to meet their needs as well as space for a care team.  It will undoubtedly lead to an enormously improved quality of life for our client and alleviate the pressure on their mother.

Our client’s legal team led by Tamsin Day, assisted by Kimberly Mendonca, Mollie Benjamin and Julie Aldred are delighted to have helped make a difference for the better in our client’s life.

Birth injury due to negligent handling of a mother’s labour

This claim involved the birth of twin girls. One sadly died at birth, and the other was born with cerebral palsy due to the negligent handling of the mother’s labour. Our child brain injury solicitors settled the claim for £3 million, which included provision for the surviving child’s care and accommodation needs as well as compensation for her loss of earnings. On hearing the settlement, their mother said “8 years ago our lives were taken away and today you’ve given them back”.

£1 million in compensation for child who suffered brain damage during birth

Baby B suffered brain damage during birth due to oxygen starvation which resulted in Cerebral Palsy. He suffered asymmetrical spastic quadriplegia, developmental delay, learning difficulties and associated mental and physical handicaps complicated by epilepsy. Liability was denied throughout the claim. Our medical negligence solicitors settled the case for over £1 million.

Brain injury due to oxygen deprivation at birth

Caroline Klage acted for a young child CE who was  delivered by emergency caesarean section. She was profoundly asphyxiated at birth and had suffered ischaemic brain damage, with severe dystonic/spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. It was the Claimant’s case that with timely delivery she would have had a dyskinetic cerebral palsy with intact intelligence. Our client was profoundly disabled. In fact she suffered from severe microcephaly, profound learning disabilities and severe oro-pharyngeal motor disability. She was fed by gastrostomy. There were joint contractures, including severe flexion contractures at the knees. She also had visual impairment. The Claimant was and would remain, dependent on her parents or carers for mobility and for all activities of daily living. The medical experts that we instructed in her case said CE  would never be able to work, to live independently, or to manage her own affairs. The claim was settled for a significant lump sum payment of compensation together with periodical payments of for the remainder of her life.

£13.3 million for a child who suffered a catastrophic brain injury following inadequate foetal monitoring

A child, who suffered a severe brain injury due to inadequate foetal monitoring by staff at North Middlesex Hospital during their mother’s labour has received a settlement of £13.3 million. This compensation will cover the child’s lifelong needs.

Jo Chapman, working with Caroline Klage and Claudia Hillemand  secured this settlement against North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, despite many hospital records being missing or illegible. The child sustained severe perinatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy and needed immediate medical intervention on delivery, including resuscitation, ventilation, and intubation. They now have severe cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs, epilepsy, visual impairment, double incontinence, profound learning difficulties, and rely on tube feeding. They are non-verbal and completely dependent on others for their all care and mobility.

An initial interim payment allowed the child and their family to move from an unsuitable temporary home to a more suitable one as a short-term measure. Ongoing interim payments funded a comprehensive care and rehabilitation programme from a multidisciplinary team overseen by a specialist child brain injury case manager. Through an appeal to the Tribunal, the child’s right to access the education curriculum was secured by an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

A permanent home was bought and specially adapted to meet the child’s needs, including wheelchair accessibility, hoisting systems, a dedicated sensory space and a therapy room. The home also has an adapted garden, and communal spaces for the entire family, as well as accommodation for a 24-hour care team. Annual payments ensure that the child’s lifelong care and therapy needs will always be met.

EHCP success following two appeals to SENDist for child with cerebral palsy

Claudia Hillemand successfully represented our client ‘Sophie’  in two appeals in the Education Tribunal (SENDist). The first appeal , which settled before a final hearing, challenged the local authority’s decision to refuse Sophie an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). The local authority’s position was particularly surprising in light of Sophie’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy and the professional evidence  we obtained from occupational therapy,  physiotherapy, speech and language and education psychology to say that she had  clear special educational needs which could not be met by the school’s existing budget.

Once the Local Authority agreed to give Sophie an EHCP , a further appeal to the SENDist was needed to ensure the provision in the plan was sufficient. The proposed EHCP from the Local Authority was lacking across all Sophie’s areas of need. This dispute proceeded to a full hearing where ultimately the Tribunal agreed that Sophie needed full time 1:1 learning support assistance, and almost all of her parents proposed changes regarding therapeutic input were accepted.

Sophie is now settled in a mainstream school with enough support to ensure she can flourish and reach her potential.

Further information about getting a Education Health Care Plan can be found in Claudia’s blog.

Settlement reached for young child with severe cerebral palsy
Claudia Hillemand and Laura Robertson-Hayes secured a life changing sum for a young child with severe cerebral palsy in the form of a large lump sum of over £1 million plus annual payments of over £76,000 which will be used to meet their care needs for life.

Our client was born with severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy which has resulted in spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, uncontrolled epilepsy, poor swallow and visual impairment. Our client relies on others for all their care needs, and does not mobilise independently.

The Defendant NHS Trust admitted that they had negligently delayed in delivering our client by caesarean section, but denied that their delay had made a different to  the outcome. The case was challenging on a number of fronts, particularly as it was accepted that our client had suffered some degree of brain damage before their mother attended hospital.

Claudia and Laura fought hard to bring the Defendant to a settlement meeting in the weeks before trial, and a settlement was finally reached after the meeting, following some tense negotiations.

The impact the compensation will have for our client, and her mother (a single parent) is far reaching. The sums obtained means that our client can move out of her unsuitable local authority flat and into their own property where they will have space for therapy, equipment and a support worker. A financial deputy will manage the compensation, and employ a paid live in carer which will offer our client’s mother some long awaited respite and reassurance that her child will be looked after in their own home for the whole of their life.

Life changing compensation for a child with cerebral palsy

Jo Chapman acted for a young boy who sustained a serious acquired brain injury due to the negligent management of his mother’s labour and his birth. At a very young age, he was diagnosed with a severe form of cerebral palsy which affects all of his limbs. Now of school age, our client requires constant care and attends a school for children with special educational needs. He is wheelchair dependent, has no independent mobility and is non-verbal.

The Defendant NHS Trust refused to admit liability but after a raft of expert evidence was obtained by us, the Defendant agreed to attend a settlement meeting. It was at this meeting that solicitors in our Child Brain Injury team were able to negotiate an excellent settlement of a life changing sum of compensation.

Now, his parents, with the assistance of a financial Deputy funded for by the claim, are using part of this compensation to purchase a new family home which will allow him to live happily and comfortably for the rest of life.

This home will be specifically designed and adapted to meet all of his needs. A hoisting system will be fitted to assist with transfers and the entire property will be wheelchair accessible. Certain rooms in the house will become dedicated sensory spaces and he will have his own therapy room and full access to an adapted garden. Funds will also be used to provide him with aids and equipment that are designed to maximise his comfort but also be of therapeutic benefit.

Not only will the accommodation be life changing, the layout of the property will provide communal space for the whole family to come together and enjoy each other’s company. His parents, knowing their son’s lifetime needs are met is a huge weight off their mind and gives them more time and energy to focus on making memories with their family.

Shaken baby

Miss E sustained catastrophic brain injury when she was two months old, as a result of a violent shaking by her father who subsequently pleaded guilty to the offence of assault causing grievous bodily harm. As a result of her injuries Miss E suffered cerebral palsy affecting all four of her limbs, with fits and seizures controlled by medication. She would have significant developmental delays and extensive health and care needs, unable to sit up or roll over and with poor vision. We achieved the maximum award of £250,000.00 for the injuries themselves within 2 years of applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for compensation. In addition we successfully persuaded the CICA to pay the costs of setting up and administering the trust fund, when normally those costs would be deducted from the award.

Road Traffic Accidents

Life changing brain injury for a young boy run over by a car whilst crossing the road

Cheryl Abrahams represented a 5 year old boy who was struck by a car when crossing a quiet residential road.  He sustained a brain injury as well as a severe head injury and multiple fractures.  He was rushed to hospital by ambulance in his mother’s arms.

Although there were no witnesses, we sued the driver of the car on the basis that he did not see our client prior to the accident and was therefore not paying attention. Had he been paying attention, he would have seen our client and been able to avoid the accident.  The Defendant denied he was responsible because he said our client ran out into the road between parked cars.

Before the trial to establish who was responsible for the accident, we met with the Defendant’s representatives and succeeded in negotiating a favourable agreement whereby the Defendant accepted a large proportion of responsibility for the accident (two thirds). As a result of this agreement, our client will receive significant compensation which will ensure his needs are met for life.

We are now focussed on setting up a comprehensive rehabilitation and care package to help him to achieve his full potential, despite his life changing injuries.  We are also gathering all of the evidence we need to prove the nature and extent of our client’s injuries and how they will impact his life which will help us to maximise his compensation award.

Child suffered brain injury when the car being driven by her mother collides with a lorry

LZ was 17 months old when she suffered serious brain injuries in a road traffic accident. She was a passenger in a car driven by her mother which collided with the rear of a lorry.

LZ suffered terrible multiple injuries including a fractured rib, a fractured distal right forearm, periorbital swelling, a fractured right clavicle and collapsed right upper lung lobe, and a very serious head injury. CT head scan showed a signal change consistent with cerebral swelling and areas of contusion in the right posterior-right temporal lobe, corpus callosum and region of the pineal. Her consciousness level deteriorated within 24 hours so that she was re-intubated and ventilated electively with intracranial pressure monitoring which was normal. She was found to have a third nerve palsy.

Her early physical development after the accident was relatively normal and she was able to learn to walk. She also retained a level of intelligence and was able to communicate.
However she was effectively blind in one eye and developed frontal lobe dysfunction which meant that she would never recover to a level of functioning that would allow her to live a carefree or independent life. She retained intellect and yearned for independence but possessed little insight. She was vulnerable and manipulative. She was not a compliant head injured person. She was difficult to motivate and developed temporary enthusiasms and fads for activities which she would soon abandon. She was not able to learn patterned behaviour. She was confrontational, impressionable and sexually vulnerable. She suffered early onset of puberty.

The defendant argued that LZ was somebody who could be motivated if she saw an opportunity to engage in activities that she found interesting. We obtained evidence to show that this was not the case but that there was a pattern of temporary enthusiasm blunted by the reality of her condition and situation.

We obtained annual interim payments of damages until the LZ’s long term future was clear.
The final settlement approved by the Court included compensation for past losses and future accommodation and loss of earnings as well as future periodical payments to continue to fund a team of support workers caring for her on a virtually 24-hour basis with neuropsychological input and professional advice for the lay deputy.

Claim against local authority for child cyclist who suffered a brain injury following a collision with a moped

Jo Chapman acted for a boy (DB) who suffered serious head and brain injuries when his bicycle collided with a woman on a moped. Our client was a school boy who cycled from land owned by Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) onto a “cycle way”, on which mopeds were permitted to travel.  The moped rider was riding along the cycle way and a collision occurred between her and our client; the moped rider was blameless. DB sustained serious head injuries.

Liability for the accident was settled on the basis of two thirds in the Claimant’s favour against SBC. At the time of the accident, DB was a schoolboy functioning within the normal range. Our case was that ‘but for’ the accident, DB would very probably have led a perfectly normal life, obtaining a semi-skilled or skilled manual job, and enjoying normal social interaction and family life.

DB sustained fractures to the temporal and basal skull with subarachnoid haemorrhage. He was unconscious for several weeks and remained in hospital for several more weeks during which he had almost complete amnesia. He was left with an unreliable short-term memory and some language difficulty, with fluency, reading and writing all impaired. He was disinhibited, embarrassingly outspoken and irritable. He was stone deaf in one ear. He had dysexecutive syndrome. He had very little insight into his predicament.

DB had periods of depression and low mood. He was indiscriminately friendly and open towards others. He was slightly clumsy. Fatigue was a persistent problem. He also developed complex partial seizures which were only partly controlled.

The court approved a settlement for DB which included compensation for care, assistance and supervision throughout his life, loss of earning capacity and a package of privately-paid clinical care.

Seventeen year-old passenger suffers brain injury after collision with bus

Jo Chapman acted for AT who on the day before his seventeenth birthday was involved in a road traffic accident and suffered a brain injury.  AT was one of two front seat passengers in a Transit van driven by his father, the third Defendant. None of the passengers were wearing a seatbelt. The van was in collision with a bus.

AT sustained a very severe traumatic brain injury when his head struck the windscreen at great speed. He remained in a coma for 10 weeks. During his time he developed MRSA. When he emerged from his coma, a diagnosis of cortical blindness was made, but subsequently his vision largely returned.

Liability for the injuries was settled on the basis of 85% in the Claimant’s favour.

AT has been left with difficulties with cognition, memory and frontal executive function. He cannot plan or organise. He cannot “multi-task” or prioritise tasks. He is dependent on others for motivation and initiation. There have been serious psychological, emotional and behavioural problems. AT is disinhibited and hyper-sexual. He is unemployable, and receives 24 hour care because it is inappropriate to leave him alone for any significant period of time. AT himself is aware that he has sustained a brain injury, cannot work, and needs assistance; but his insight into the full extent of his problems is very limited.

Damage to the back part of the brain has caused a disorder of eye movement and pupil functioning. He has been left with some reduction in the clarity of his vision and a divergent squint. AT has difficulty with his speech, which is slurred and dysarthric. There is a risk of his developing epilepsy, which will remain greater than that of the normal population for 20 years or more from the date of the accident.

The Court approved a settlement which included compensation for past and future care, case management, earnings, therapies, transport, medical treatment, aids and equipment, court of protection and accommodation.

Catastrophic injuries for boy on his bicycle

Our client was aged 12 when he cycled from land owned by a local council onto a ‘cycle way’, straight into the path of a moped; he suffered very serious head injuries. Our client’s mother had originally instructed another firm but was dissatisfied with their lack of progress and 7 years later, transferred the case to Bolt Burdon Kemp. We argued that the local council knew that there was a risk of children cycling from their land on to the cycle way and they should have fenced off the land to prevent such accidents happening.

A barrister advised that the claim would not succeed because, with the passage of time, we could not trace witnesses to previous similar accidents. However, we persevered in investigating and ultimately succeeded in obtaining evidence in support of the claim, producing a settlement of liability approved by the court of 70/30 in the Defendant’s favour. Before the accident, our client had been a normal school boy who – when he left school – would have gone into a semi-skilled or skilled manual job and enjoyed normal social interaction and family life. The accident meant that instead he suffered a severe head injury, with fractures to the temporal and basal skull and a subarachnoid haemorrhage. He was unconscious for several weeks and had extensive post traumatic amnesia. Although he made a good physical recovery he developed dysexecutive syndrome with very little insight into his predicament. He was unable to plan ahead or to do more than one task at a time, and also suffered from complex partial seizures with loss of consciousness. We contended for a structured life package involving significant amounts of time devoted entirely to leisure pursuits with short periods of work.

The Defendant made a payment into Court of £165,000, which they later increased to £550,000. This was rejected and by negotiation the Defendant’s offer was increased to £600,000 (the equivalent of £1.8m on full liability), which was accepted and approved by the Court.

Brain and spinal injuries for motorcycle courier injured in a road traffic accident

Caroline Klage acted for RB who was 16 years old and working as a motorcycle courier. As he was driving his scooter, the door of a parked van opened and to avoid a collision, RB was forced onto the opposite carriageway where he was struck by a motorcycle coming in the opposite direction. RB sustained catastrophic brain and spinal injuries. We sued both the van driver and RB’s employer, the latter having provided a vehicle which RB was too young and untrained to ride, and effectively the means for him to have a serious accident. Days before the liability trial to decide who was responsible for RB’s injuries, both Defendants jointly accepted 90% liability for our client’s accident.

Failure to diagnose congenital brain condition

Life changing compensation following failure to diagnose congenital brain condition during antenatal screening

Claudia Hillemand and Mollie Benjamin have achieved a life-changing settlement of over £5 million in a wrongful birth claim.

Our client brought a claim for the cost of upbringing of her child, who has a complex congenital brain condition which results in severe learning difficulties, high care needs, profound speech and language delay and significant behavioural problems.

The claim was brought against a hospital trust for a failure to identify the baby’s enlarged brain ventricles on antenatal screening, thus denying our client the opportunity to understand the disabilities her child would have, and to consider and accept the option of a termination.

Whilst our client loves her child dearly, and cannot imagine life without them, she was firm in her views throughout the pregnancy that she would terminate if they were going to suffer with any significant illnesses or conditions which could impact their quality of life.

The team used their vast experience of child brain injury cases, combined with their interest in genetics and congenital conditions, to achieve this great success in what was a medically and legally complex claim. Most importantly, the compensation will give our client peace of mind that she can fund her child’s complex therapy, care, equipment and accommodation needs for life.

Exposure to noxious fumes leading to brain injury

Compensation for child and his father who suffered brain injuries following exposure to carbon monoxide

Cheryl Abrahams, obtained compensation for a child and parent who were diagnosed with brain injuries after being exposed to carbon monoxide fumes from a faulty boiler in the house that the family rented from a private landlord.

Our child client suffered a number of symptoms as a result of his brain injury including, short-term memory loss, anxiety, fatigue, pins and needles, gastrointestinal issues. His cognitive symptoms and fatigue affected his ability to learn and engage at school.  His anxiety caused issues with social relationships with his peers.  Our client’s father, who we also represented, suffered memory loss and headaches.

In order to prove that the injuries our clients suffered were caused by their exposure to carbon monoxide, we obtained supportive evidence from a variety of medical experts and from an expert engineer.

We brought our clients’ claim for compensation on the basis that the landlord had failed to carry out annual inspections and maintain the boiler and was therefore in breach of various regulations and statutory duties.

The landlord denied liability for our clients’ injuries. Despite this, we issued court proceedings and went on to successfully negotiate settlement on behalf of our clients.

Our child client was awarded a significant sum of compensation which will ensure his needs will be met for life because he has the funds to pay for therapy, equipment, and additional educational support that he needs to flourish and meet his full potential.

Secondary Victims

Compensation for mother who witnessed her son in a road traffic accident

Cheryl Abrahams acted for a parent who  witnessed the horrific aftermath of a road traffic accident involving her young son.  Our client’s son suffered multiple injuries in the accident including a severe head injury and a traumatic brain injury. We also acted for the brain injured child in relation to his personal injury claim.

Our client  cared for her severely injured child as paramedics provided emergency care.  She thought her son was going to die from his injuries. She held him as he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.

We pursued a secondary victim claim for psychiatric injury on behalf of our client.  We proved that she  suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and depression after witnessing the aftermath of her son’s road traffic accident.  Further details about Secondary Victim Claims can be found in this blog.

The Defendant refused to accept responsibility for the child’s accident or our client’s psychiatric injuries.  We issued the parent’s claim in court and we successfully settled her claim, securing a six-figure settlement  for our client without the need for a trial. At the conclusion of her claim, our client, GXC, said:

“I just want to let you both know how grateful we are for all your hard work and dedication, even when things were so uncertain, you have always been my go to support.”

Accidents outside the home

Successful claim for girl who fell through a hole in a roof and suffered a brain injury

We acted for a young girl who was playing with her friends and gained access to an unoccupied building that was frequented by local children. The building was not properly secured, despite a child having previously suffered serious injuries when he fell through a hole in the roof.

Our client entered a shed like structure on the flat roof at the top of the building and fell approximately 15’ through a hole onto a concrete floor below. She was unconscious  and totally unresponsive She was ventilated but developed a right-sided tension pneumothorax necessitating chest drains. She suffered multiple rib fractures. A CT scan showed significant cerebral injuries as well as bruising within the pelvis. After she was discharged home from hospital she developed behavioural problems with aggressive outbursts, insolence and verbal abuse.

Liability for the accident was settled on the basis of 70% in our clients favour. The Defendant argued that although our client suffered a serious injury this has made little if any difference to the eventual outcome. We successfully recovered compensation which recognised that whilst our client had some pre-existing behavioural problems, the impact of her brain injury has resulted in deficits in initiation, drive and motivation, together with lack of insight. It was these deficits in particular that have caused a need for care and a lack of earning capacity

Child brain injury as a result of medical negligence

Avoidable child brain injury due to anaesthetic error

We acted for a  little boy of 3 years old who sadly suffered permanent brain damage during dental surgery to remove several milk teeth. He was given a general anaesthetic during which he suffered a lack of oxygen, causing brain damage which affected his cognitive functions, speech and language abilities, and fine motor skills. We successfully obtained compensation for our client  including sums for his care, accommodation and future loss of earnings.

This medical negligence compensation claim also resulted in health regulations being changed so that anaesthetic can only be provided to children in a hospital setting under specialist supervision.

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