Olivia has athetoid quadriplegic cerebral palsy as a result of a brain injury she sustained at the time of her birth. She is completely dependent on her parents for all care, feeding and mobility. She is fed via a gastrostomy tube. She has developmental delay in all areas, including severe communication difficulties. Her brain injury also causes her to suffer from epileptic seizures.
Knights are currently investigating whether events at Olivia’s birth have caused her brain injury. Expert evidence obtained so far has revealed that the CTG machine that was being used to record Olivia’s heart rate during her mother’s labour was in fact recording her mother’s heart rate for approximately 3 hours before Olivia was born. This went unnoticed by the midwives, meaning that Olivia’s distress was missed. It was during this time that she suffered a period of oxygen starvation, referred to as ‘hypoxia’, and when born, she needed extensive resuscitation. Her case is that it was this period of hypoxia that caused her brain injury.
So far, the defendant NHS Trust has denied liability and court proceedings have been issued. We strongly believe that the midwives involved in Olivia’s mother’s labour have been negligent and we have obtained independent expert evidence that supports this.
Should Olivia be successful in her claim, she will be entitled to compensation that will provide for all of her needs for the rest of her life. This will include around the clock care, adapted accommodation, specialist aids and equipment, therapies and everything else that can give her as much independence and fun as possible.
To respect the privacy of our clients, all names have been changed.
Kiera has mainly left sided hemiplegic cerebral palsy as a result of a brain injury she sustained at the time of her birth. She has delayed development, learning difficulties and severe behavioural problems.
At the very end of her pregnancy, and in fact several days over term, Keira’s mother had gone in to hospital as she was concerned that Keira had not been moving around very much. An ultrasound scan performed on her arrival to hospital confirmed that there was a problem with the flow of blood between the placenta and the baby. Despite this, no action was taken other than to monitor Keira’s heart rate using a CTG trace. Even though the CTG showed that Keira was likely to be suffering from starvation of oxygen, it took several hours for the doctors to decide that a caesarean section was needed. There was then further delay caused by failed attempts at performing a local anaesthetic for the caesarean, which was in the end aborted and Keira’s mother was put under a general anaesthetic.
When Kiera was born, she was very unwell and needed resuscitation to bring her back to life. She didn’t take her first breath until 14 minutes after her birth. She suffered from seizures during her early days and scans later confirmed that she had suffered a brain injury.
We have obtained independent expert evidence that confirms that there were many negligent failings by the doctors responsible for Keira’s mother’s labour. The care provided has been described as “incompetent” by our expert. Other expert evidence confirms that Keira’s brain injury occurred very shortly before her birth, meaning that if the doctors hadn’t delayed her delivery, she would have avoided her brain damage.
To date, the defendant Hospital has admitted to negligent failings but are defending the case on the basis that Keira’s brain injury had already occurred. If successful in her claim, Keira will receive an award of compensation that will provide her with everything she needs to maximise her independence and ensure her security for the future.
Joanne was on her way to work one morning when she was hit by a transporter lorry as she crossed the road. She sustained a traumatic brain injury and life hasn’t been the same since.
Joanne’s brain injury has affected her memory, her personality, her mobility and she now suffered from extreme fatigue and vertigo. Prior to the injury, she was fluent in a number of languages but now struggles to communicate effectively in her first language. Her life has been turned upside down by the accident, and it has had a huge effect on both her and her family as they learn to live with and adapt to the limitations that the injury has caused.
Joanne’s son contacted Knights whilst his mother was still in hospital. We started working with the family straight away and were able to obtain an early admission of liability from the Defendant
While investigating the compensation due to Joanne, Knights have provided help and support to Joanne and her family during this difficult time and obtained an interim payment from the Defendant to put in place the help that Joanne needs now rather than waiting until the conclusion of the claim. A case manager has been employed to assess and assist Joanne in putting in place the various therapies, including neuropsychological support, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, so that she gets the best possible treatment in order to give her the best chance of recovery.
Unfortunately Joanne has been unable to return to work since the accident, so obtaining the interim payment has also provided her with some financial security. Joanne and her family can focus on her getting better without worrying how the bills are going to be paid.
Joanne’s case is on going, with Knights working with her and her family to ascertain what it is she needs in the future to maximise her independence and to minimise the obstacles her brain injury presents.
Knights are doing everything we can to ease the worry and burdens caused by such a devastating injury and will continue to support Joanne and her family both up to resolution of the claim and beyond.
Amanda’s Estate and dependants were awarded £250,000 when Amanda failed to recover from a hospital acquired infection after she was admitted to a local hospital for treatment for a cerebral bleed. Amanda’s surviving husband and daughter succeeded in recovering damages for loss of earnings and services dependency.
Caroline’s Estate and dependants were awarded £100,000 when Caroline was discharged from hospital after losing consciousness at work and vomiting. She was taken by ambulance to her local A&E department where she was assessed and sent home. She was reassured that her symptoms were most likely to be due to stress.
On her return home, Caroline collapsed again and she was admitted to hospital. She underwent a CT head scan which confirmed that she had suffered a brain haemorrhage. Sadly, by the time her haemorrhage was diagnosed, it was not possible to surgically treat the bleed and Caroline passed away, aged 55. Caroline’s surviving husband succeeded in recovering damages for loss of services dependency.
Mr Baker's case
We are currently acting on behalf of a the Estate of a widow who’s husband died following a failure to diagnose and treat a cerebral cyst. Mr Baker attended his local hospital with complaints of headache, vomiting, nausea and a tingling sensation in his arms. He was admitted to the assessment unit where the junior doctor noted that Mr Baker required a CT head scan.
Mr Baker remained in hospital for 48 hours but unfortunately, the CT head scan was not performed. Mr Baker was then discharged home and told that the cause of his symptoms was due to an infection. On his return home, Mr Baker suffered a seizure. He was readmitted to the same hospital and a CT head scan was performed. The scan identified a cerebral cyst, which was placing pressure on Mr Baker’s brain stem, causing his symptoms. By the time the diagnose was made, Mr Baker’s cyst could not be treated and he subsequently died.
We are currently working on valuing the claim on behalf of Mr Baker’s Estate for the benefit of his wife and two teenage daughters. No amount of money will ever compensate for what they have lost, but a financial settlement should hopefully provide them with security for their future.
Mr and Mrs Jones' case
Mrs Jones was delighted to discover that she was pregnant with her first child, a son. The early stages of the pregnancy went well, with no problems. Some concerns about the baby’s growth were raised at the 20 week scan and again at later scans, and mention was made of the possibly of a genetic condition, but that such a condition was unlikely. Mr and Mrs Jones were reassured, understandably assuming that if there was anything wrong the hospital would have identified it, fully investigated it, and that they would be offered the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy if investigations revealed that their baby had, or was likely to have, any significant health problems or disabilities.
When the baby was born, it was immediately apparent that he had significant limb deformities. Other clinical signs, including unusual facial features, were suggestive of a serious genetic condition. Mr and Mrs Jones were shocked and devastated by this. Their son has now been diagnosed as suffering with a rare but serious genetic disorder causing limb deformities, hearing loss, visual impairment, developmental delays, learning and behavioural difficulties, and stomach and feeding problems.
Knights investigated and obtained expert medical opinion that the significant limb deformities should have been identified at the 20 week scan. Scan reports incorrectly recorded that the limbs and extremities had been visualised and that there were no abnormalities. We were able to establish that had the limb abnormalities been identified, further investigations would have been carried out and Mr and Mrs Jones would have been told that the baby had a genetic condition that would significantly affect his health and development.
Mr and Mrs Jones are truly devoted parents, striving for nothing but the very best for their son, however, had they been told that their baby had such disabling physical deformities, and that there was a high risk of other significant health problems, they would, with great sadness, have chosen to end the pregnancy. Unfortunately, the hospital’s negligence deprived them of this choice. They have a son who is very much loved, but the emotional, physical and financial strain of providing for his needs as a result of his neurological impairments and other disabilities is enormous.
With our help, the family have obtained a formal admission from the hospital that errors were made. They have also received a letter of apology, expressing regret for the errors in treatment and devastating consequences these have had on the family. Internal investigations have been undertaken and the family have been assured that the hospital will reflect on procedures and practices to ensure this does not happen to other families.
Mr and Mrs Jones are entitled to compensation to cover the costs of caring and providing for their son as a consequence of his disabilities. The case continues, with detailed investigations into their son’s current and future needs, to work out exactly what care, support, equipment, therapies and accommodation he needs and will need in the future, and to ensure that the resources are available to support their son for the rest of his life.