Advising with empathy and experience

A Good Lawyer Can Win Even When Blame is Denied

Clinical negligence cases are by no means always cut and dried – but a good lawyer can win you compensation with or without an admission of blame. In one case, an NHS trust which vigorously denied liability for brain damage suffered by a baby boy shortly after his birth nevertheless agreed to compensate him.

The boy's birth was uneventful, although his birth weight was low, and his mother expressed the natural and understandable desire to breastfeed him. Mother and baby were discharged from hospital about 36 hours after the birth but difficulties arose in the little boy successfully engaging with breastfeeding.

After two days at home, and reports by the mother that her baby was not feeding, he suffered a seizure and was re-admitted to hospital. He had been suffering from dangerously low blood sugar levels and suffered brain injuries. He was left seriously disabled and will require care for the rest of his life.

The boy's lawyers argued that there had been a failure to give the mother adequate medical advice and that her son had been negligently discharged from hospital before breastfeeding was properly established. The claim was robustly defended by the trust but settlement terms were agreed following negotiations between lawyers for both sides. The terms of the compromise were kept confidential but it was agreed that the boy would receive significant compensation.

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