Enable Law wins case for Cornish teenager who sustained severe brain damage at birth

3 minute read

Enable Law has achieved a landmark settlement for the family of a young Cornish teenager who suffered a lack of oxygen during his birth and as a result was severely brain damaged. Danny (name changed for legal reasons) has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Mike Bird, Partner at Enable Law, led on the case and has worked with the family since Danny was a toddler to understand why this injury happened and understand the impact Danny’s profound additional needs will have on his development to help the family access funds to put the right support in place for him. The support provided by Mike and the Enable Law team led to a settlement of about £17m being approved by the High Court which will guarantee that Danny is looked after for life, funding his ongoing care needs, equipment, and specialist housing, as well as much needed therapies to help him have the best possible life he can with his injuries.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust admitted that the medical team managing his birth made errors, which led to Danny’s brain being starved of oxygen during his birth and caused his injuries. Danny would otherwise have been born completely uninjured.

His mother, who has left employment to become his full-time carer, brought the action on his behalf and has worked with the lawyers at Enable Law to secure his future. Danny will need round the clock care from at least 2 carers, and the settlement is structured so that funds are guaranteed to meet his needs for his whole life.

Because of the severity of his injuries, Danny isn’t able to walk independently and as well as 24/7 care, needs mobility aids, such as an electric wheelchair, to use at home and outside and an adapted vehicle. His home is being adapted by specialist architects to be fully accessible. His neurological injuries are permanent and will not improve, which means he will remain dependent on others for the rest of his life. He uses a  tablet device to help him communicate.. An independent Deputy will manage his finances for him.

Mike Bird, Partner at Enable Law, commented:

“The errors that led to Danny’s brain injury were basic and avoidable, and as a result a normal life has been cruelly taken away from him. But his family has always been clear that they don’t want to blame anyone at the hospital, and that the claim has been about making sure that Danny has the best life he can. He will be loved and looked after, supported and encouraged for the rest of his life to make the best of any opportunities that come his way. The money doesn’t compensate, it just pays for his lifelong needs. We can’t turn back the clock but we can make sure he has all he needs to have a fulfilling and exciting life to make up for the one he’s lost.

For his parents, the knowledge that whatever else may happen, Danny will always be looked after and will be financially secure is a tremendous relief.

His mum said “Of course Danny is our world and we will make the best of our lives together, we want to focus on our future and make it as happy as possible for him. We want people to know what happened, to make change happen in hospitals, to reduce risks to mothers and babies and to eradicate avoidable basic errors. Sadly we know there are other children like Danny out there and other families like ours, whose lives have been turned upside down by avoidable mistakes. j We are thankful to Mike and his team for supporting and guiding us through a difficult process and achieving a settlement which will support our son for the rest of his life”.

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