GP’s Negligence During Pregnancy Leads to Premature Birth
James was born premature as a result of negligent treatment provided by his mother’s GP. James has significant cognitive and behavioural problems as a result. We successfully recovered £2 million by way of compensation for James.We are pleased to successfully resolve one of our longest running cases. Experts agreed that James was born prematurely birth was because of the negligence of his mother’s GP. The doctor inserted a contraceptive device but she didn’t carry out a pregnancy test first.
The GP admitted she was negligent but she did not agree that James had suffered as a result. James is now 16 and he has made good progress. However, he clearly has significant cognitive and behavioural problems. He is less independent and needs much more supervision than would normally be expected for a teenager. He attends a special school and the medical experts thought he was unlikely to be able to get a paid job.
We had to ask the experts to consider what, if any, of James’s problems could have been caused by his prematurity. We could only claim compensation for James for those problems. The experts said they could not come to any definitive view until James was well established in secondary education. They acknowledged that his difficulties could have been as a result of his very deprived early childhood or related to genetic factors. Initially the GP’s insurers invited us to abandon the claim. Next they offered £1,000 in full and final settlement.
Choosing the right moment to settle a claim
Our experts considered that James was likely to have been independent and capable of work if he had not been born prematurely. They also acknowledged that it was difficult to apportion the damage that the premature birth had caused. The Defendants also arranged for James to be examined by their experts. At this point they increased their offer of compensation to a six figure sum. This was rejected and we eventually agreed settlement terms. James has now received compensation of £2 million. This sum will ensure that he will have enough money to pay for the care and support that he will need throughout his life.
We could not see the full extent of James’ needs until he got into his teenage years. This felt like a long time for James to wait but we advised him that it was not in his best interests to settle earlier. Once the experts could assess his needs properly, James was able to get a suitable award in compensation. The settlement was approved by the High Court in London.
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