17.01.19

Trust to pay out £5m in damages to boy starved of oxygen and left disabled at birth

A six-year-old boy who suffered life-changing injuries during birth is set to be awarded nearly £5m in damages from an NHS trust.

The child from County Londonderry, who cannot be identified, developed severe cerebral palsy after he was starved of oxygen to the brain during his birth at Altnagelvin Hospital in 2012.

The boy’s family sued the Western Health and Social Care Trust for alleged medical negligence and the trust accepted liability days before the action was due to go to trial at the High Court in Belfast.

In what is thought to be one of the biggest cases of its kind in Northern Ireland, a pay-out of nearly £5m has been reached as part of a settlement deal. Western Health Trust said it deeply regretted that the boy’s care “fell below acceptable standards.” 

The boy was reportedly left with profound disabilities after sustaining a brain injury caused by the procedures used and the actions taken during the birth.

Negotiations centred on the amount of damages the boy would need to cover the cost of care and specialist therapies that he will require for the rest of his life and the settlement was approved by Mr Justice Maguire, expected to be around £4.9m.

The family’s solicitor Harry McAleese stated: “This settlement will enable them to provide the necessary support and comfort for their child.

“The family are delighted and relieved at the outcome of this long-running case.”

Western Health and Social Care Trust said in a statement: “The Western Trust deeply regrets that the care provided to this young boy when he was born fell below acceptable standards and we sincerely apologise for this.”

“Respecting confidentiality, the Western Trust will not be making any further comments on this case.”

Image credit - SeanMack

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