Settlement of Claim for NHS Hospital Negligence Approved in Court

Posted on: February 20th, 2015 by Editor

The settlement of a claim for NHS hospital negligence has been approved in the High Court in favour of a seven-year-old girl suffering from cerebral palsy.

Ayla Ellison from Ulverston in Cumbria was born at the nearby Furness General Hospital in Cumbria in April 2007. During the run up to her birth, Ayla was starved of oxygen in the womb and, during an emergency Caesarean procedure, she suffered further birth injuries due to medical negligence.

Now seven years of age, Ayla suffers from severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and is practically blind. Ayla´s body is incapable of controlling its temperature, she has to be fed by a tube and she also suffers terrifying muscle spasms that can only be treated by immersion in a hydrotherapy pool.

On behalf of their daughter, Daniel and Carla Ellison made a compensation claim for NHS hospital negligence against the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. Following an investigation into the circumstances of Ayla´s birth, the NHS Trust acknowledged that errors had been made in the management of her birth.

Negotiations over how much compensation for NHS hospital negligence the family were entitled to became protracted when Ayla´s parents announced that they intended to move to London for Daniel´s job as a consultant engineer, and that they needed £1.7 million for the family to buy a home in Richmond that had a hydrotherapy pool.

Eventually a settlement of the claim for NHS hospital negligence was agreed, and the case went to the High Court in London for the settlement to be approved. At the High Court Mr Justice Warby heard that the NHS Trust had been making interim payments of compensation since 2012 and had agreed to fund the purchase the house in Richmond.

The remainder of the settlement consists of a £295,000 lump sum payment due immediately, with index-linked, tax-free payments of £225,000 every year thereafter. The annual payments will increase to £290,000 every year when Ayla turns eighteen years old. The settlement of the claim for NHS hospital negligence has an estimated value of £10 million based on Ayla´s projected life expectancy.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Warby commended Ayla´s parents for the “calm and intelligent” manner in which they had dealt with the tragedy of her birth injuries and commented “I have no hesitation in accepting that the stated intention of Carla and Daniel Elliston to move to London to build a new family life there is a sincere, genuine and heartfelt one.”

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