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Girl Wins £4.5 Million Damages for Mistakes During Birth

Lawyers representing an 11-year-old girl who was born seriously disabled after her umbilical cord collapsed during her delivery have achieved a settlement of her personal injury claim that is expected to be worth at least £4.5 million over her lifetime.

The girl was left with a range of physical disabilities and drastically reduced mobility – although her mental capacity remained intact – after complications arose during her birth at an NHS hospital in 2002. On her behalf, her lawyers sued the Mid-Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, claiming that her injuries had resulted from the negligent management of her mother's labour.

The Trust admitted liability in full and, following negotiations, the parties were able to reach a financial settlement which will provide the girl with the support and care she will need for the rest of her life. The settlement will take the form of a £2.4 million lump sum as well as annual, index-linked and tax-free payments of £42,000 until she is 18, then rising to £78,500.

Approving the settlement, Judge Peter Hughes QC added, "It is obvious what devoted care has been given to the claimant by her mother over the years. She is plainly trying to lead as independent a life as she can and, whatever may have happened to her, achieve as much as she can. I am satisfied that the conclusion reached is a just and fair one for her and for her mother."

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