Girl who suffered catastrophic brain injury during her birth to receive £20M in damages

A “spirited” young girl who suffered a catastrophic brain injury during her birth at an NHS hospital is set to receive more than £20 million in damages.

The eight-year-old, who cannot be identified, was left severely disabled following her traumatic birth at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, in 2011.

As a result of her injury, she has severe cerebral palsy and will need round-the-clock care for the rest of her life.

Through her mother, the girl sued Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, and the trust admitted liability for her injuries in 2017.

A High Court judge approved a settlement at a hearing on Monday, which will provide more than £20 million over the girl’s lifetime to meet her care needs.

Judge Margaret Obi paid tribute to the “devoted care” provided by the girl’s parents and wished the family the best for the future.

In a statement after the hearing, the girl’s mother said: “Our daughter is an amazingly spirited young woman with her own, very strong personality.

“As she grows up, she is increasingly frustrated by the limitations she lives with every day but she continues to have great plans for the future.

“This settlement will not only provide the vital 24-hour care she needs to keep her safe and to support her in the very simplest activities most people take for granted, it will allow her to achieve the best possible life and fulfil her great potential.”

Arti Shah, from law firm Fieldfisher, who represented the family, said: “This girl’s parents have devoted themselves to providing her with an exceptionally high standard of care.

“She is a very loved and cherished child, with a great imagination and a total joy to everyone who meets her.

“In spite of her obvious difficulties, she has an extremely positive attitude to life.

“This settlement will provide some security for this little girl and her family, knowing that there will be funds to look after her as she gets older and her needs increase.”

David Balcombe QC, representing the trust, told the court he wished to repeat the “unreserved apology” the family has already received.

He added: “No amount of financial compensation will ever be sufficient, bearing in mind how (the girl’s) life has been so badly affected, but what we do hope is that the award will provide financial security for her for the rest of her life.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2020, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Andrew Matthews / PA Wire.

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