His Honour Judge Sadiq, sitting as a judge of the High Court, this week approved a damages settlement of £18.6m in respect of a brain injury sustained by a child at birth. Legal Director Alexandra Bennett reviews the case.

Our client, VF, was born in 2007 and is now almost 17 years old. Her mother was admitted to hospital in the first stages of labour and was assigned to the care of a student midwife.

When VF was delivered, she was in poor condition and required resuscitation. She was transferred to the Special Care Baby Unit where she was intubated and ventilated, but she experienced seizures and required anticonvulsant medication. Analysis of cord blood gases showed a significant metabolic acidosis and an MRI scan revealed extensive hypoxic brain damage. The placenta was subsequently found to show funisitis.

It was alleged that there was a failure by the midwife to properly monitor the foetal heart rate during labour. Had this been done properly, abnormalities would have been detected and VF would have been delivered earlier by caesarean section and would have avoided brain damage.

As a result of the delay in her delivery, VF lives with cognitive impairment, learning disabilities, speech and communication difficulties and behavioural problems. She has also had epilepsy. She requires support and supervision for many of her day-to-day activities, and her mother has provided her with devoted care and attention over the years. She requires support with her education. She will not attain capacity as an adult or be able to live independently, and she will not be able to work.


Case details and testimonial

The defendant admitted liability in 2023, and the trial on quantum was listed for April 2024. A settlement was reached with the defendant during a round table meeting held in February 2024 (led by Simon Dyer KC and Linda Jacobs of Cloisters) for a lump sum and annual periodical payments. The court approved the settlement earlier this week. The judge paid tribute to VF’s mother for giving VF the best chance in life and to both legal teams for settling the case.

VF’s mother said:

“We are profoundly grateful for your expertise and dedication in winning VF’s case. Your relentless pursuit of justice has brought us immense relief and closure. The compensation award will be a lifeline for us, providing much-needed support and security for my and VF’s future. It will enable her to access any care, therapies and activities to help her through life, as she will be unable to gain any kind of career. It has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders to know she will have all the support she needs going forward. Thank you for making a real difference in our lives.”


Our team’s expertise

If you think your child has suffered a brain injury due to sub-standard medical care, whether this was at around the time of birth or at a later stage in your child’s life, you may be able to bring a clinical negligence claim on your child’s behalf.

Our team has experience investigating complex claims for children with the most severe brain injuries, including injuries sustained at around the time of birth and later in childhood.



You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Clinical Negligence page.

If you require assistance from our team, please contact us.



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