Advising with empathy and experience

£4 Million Compensation for Brain Damage at Birth

A mother whose daughter was born with a severe brain injury after complications during her birth has been awarded a compensation settlement worth almost £4 million.

Maryellen McDowall was admitted to University Hospital Coventry on the afternoon of 18 April 2005 after a normal, uneventful pregnancy. Her contractions continued throughout the night and by the next morning she began to feel anxious as she had not felt the baby moving for some time. By that afternoon, she was in excruciating pain and the baby had not yet been born. Doctors were called to assist, but they did not arrive.

Ms McDowall’s daughter, Hollie, was finally born that evening by a ventouse delivery, where a suction cup is used to help deliver the baby’s head. Hollie was not breathing and had to be resuscitated.

Hollie was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy caused by lack of oxygen during her birth. She is unable to walk, cannot sit up unaided, suffers seizures, has limited vision and cannot communicate.

Ms McDowall commenced a claim against University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. Coventry University Hospital admitted that the failure to deliver her baby sooner had been negligent, and that doing so would have prevented her daughter’s injuries.

The settlement, which has now been approved by the High Court, consists of a lump sum of £1.7 million and annual six-figure payments to cover the costs of Hollie’s care.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.