A young boy has been awarded £5.1 million in compensation after a doctor was found to have been negligent when using what was considered excessive force during his forceps delivery.
The child suffered an acute spinal cord injury during his birth at King’s College Hospital in London during 2009 and as a result, was left paralysed in all four limbs.
A judge ruled that the doctor who delivered the child had fallen well below the standard of professional care expected of him, explaining that not only had excessive force been used, but he had misjudged the baby’s position in the womb and misused the forceps.
The judge was also very critical of the NHS who had refused to admit liability in the case, meaning the family had to go through a traumatic trial.
The King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust agreed to a settlement of the boy’s case, where he will receive a £5.1 million lump sum, plus annual, index-linked payments to cover the costs of his care for life.
The compensation package will include £658,800 a year until he reaches the age of 19 when the payments will rise to £680,800 a year.
The ten-year-old now depends on a tracheostomy and ventilator to survive and needs round the clock care after being delivered more than ten weeks premature.
The Judge said: “The extensive bruising sustained, and the infliction of an injury consistent with excessive force being applied, supports our decision.
“The carrying out of the delivery thus by the doctor fell far below the standard of care expected of him.’
“I am also very critical of whoever it was in the trust or in the National Health Litigation Authority who considered that this claim should be resisted on the basis, among others, that the delivery was a straightforward and unremarkable forceps delivery.
“It must have been known for a long time that the doctor’s evidence about the delivery was, to say the least, difficult to reconcile with the internal notes and records, where the obvious injuries to the baby had excited so much concern and comment by those treating him.”