Boy set for huge payout after delivery 'catastrophically delayed' at Dorset County Hospital (From Dorset Echo)
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Boy set for huge payout after delivery 'catastrophically delayed' at Dorset County Hospital
4:10am Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
A LITTLE boy left in a wheelchair after suffering a brain haemorrhage in his mother’s womb at Dorset County Hospital has been guaranteed a massive NHS compensation payout.
Joshua Hurd, who cannot stand or walk, has grave learning difficulties and suffers from seizures due to the injuries he suffered prior to his birth by caesarean section in May 2002, is set to receive a compensation package to fund the lifetime of care and assistance he will need.
The 11-year-old’s mother Georgina, from Ringwood in Hampshire, sued managers at the Dorchester hospital and claimed that negligence by the hospital’s staff led to his delivery being catastrophically delayed.
The Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust admitted that Joshua ought to have been delivered some four hours earlier than he was, London's High Court was told, but disputed that the delay made any difference to the tragic outcome.
However, before Mr Justice Dingemans at London's High Court, the two sides reached a settlement whereby the Trust agreed to pay damages on the basis of 50 per cent of a full valuation of the family’s claim.
Given the severity of Joshua’s disabilities and the enormous projected costs of his future care, the deal guarantees him a very substantial damages award, which will almost certainly run into millions of pounds, even after a 50 per cent deduction.
David Westcott QC, who represented Joshua and his family, told the judge that the family had decided to settle because of the risks that they might lose the case and be left with nothing. He said: “This is sensible settlement of a jolly difficult case.
“Joshua has sought to hold the Trust responsible for his injuries. “The Trust admitted that Joshua should have been delivered some four hours before he was, but denied liability on causation grounds.”
Mr Justice Dingemans approved the terms of the compromise, saying: “I can see good sense on both sides in coming to this settlement. I'm very happy to approve it.”
The exact sum of compensation due to the boy will be assessed by a judge at a later date, unless a final agreement is reached before then.
A spokesperson for the Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are unable to comment on the specifics of this individual case due to confidentiality and the fact that the case is not yet concluded.
“These cases do not occur very often and are sad for everyone involved.
“We would like to reassure everyone that has their babies with us here at Dorset County Hospital that most births are straightforward and a happy event for families.”
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