The child, referred to as AWZ for confidentiality, was born in September 2014 at The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle Upon Tyne. 

As part of the case the family’s legal team argued that the medical staff's failure to promptly review and deliver AWZ via caesarean section after their mother presented with antepartum haemorrhage, led to approximately 30 minutes of acute, profound hypoxia.  

This resulted in severe cerebral palsy, known as quadriplegic cerebral palsy, characterised by profound physical and cognitive disabilities. 

In a significant legal development, the agreement in relation to liability was approved by the High Court in Newcastle earlier this week, paving the way for AWZ’s legal team – Clair Wilson from Thompsons Solicitors, and David Knifton KC from Exchange Chambers - to now work with experts to determine the value of a compensation care package.  

This will help to meet AWZ’s ongoing care, rehabilitation and specialist accommodation and equipment needs. 

The agreement was reached out of court in a settlement meeting, ahead of a split trial which would have focused on breach of duty and causation, highlighting the critical moments leading up to AWZ's delivery.  

The legal arguments presented delved into the intricacies of medical decision-making under emergency conditions, particularly around the timing of the obstetrician's review and the decision to perform an artificial rupture of the membranes (ARM), which was contended to have precipitated the acute hypoxic event leading to AWZ's condition. 

Both sides presented expert testimony highlighting the challenging nature of such medical negligence cases, where the timing of interventions and their immediate consequences can significantly impact patient outcomes.  

The settlement acknowledges the complexities involved in the case, including the differing expert opinions on whether the cerebral palsy resulted from event-based occurrences or timing-related failures in medical intervention. 

The resolution of this case through a compromise settlement, which assigns 55% liability to the Trust, underscores the nuanced challenges faced by legal and medical professionals in cases of this nature. It highlights the importance of thorough and compassionate legal representation in achieving outcomes considering the long-term welfare of affected individuals and their families. 

Clair Wilson from the medical negligence team at Thompsons Solicitors who represented AWZ through their litigation friend, said: "This settlement marks a significant milestone in a journey that has been both challenging and deeply moving. Our primary focus has always been on securing the best possible outcome for AWZ and their family, acknowledging the profound impact this situation has had on their lives.  

“This case has highlighted the critical importance of timely medical intervention and the complexities inherent in medical negligence cases. “We are grateful for the court's recognition of these challenges and for approving a resolution that acknowledges the needs of AWZ and their family. It has been an honour to represent them and to work alongside a dedicated legal team committed to justice and compassionate advocacy. 

“We will now work with a number of experts with a view to securing a compensation care package that will meet AWZ’s ongoing care, rehabilitation and specialist accommodation and equipment needs.  

David Knifton KC said: “It has been a privilege to represent this child and their parents. Through their tremendous dedication and care, he has made remarkable progress in overcoming the many difficulties presented by their profound disability. 

“They now have the enormous advantage of knowing their future will be financially secure, enabling them to plan their lives accordingly. Fortunately, the skill and experience of their legal team, together with the sensible and measured approach taken by the Trust’s lawyers, has enabled a difficult case to be compromised, which undoubtedly benefits both parties.”