London hospital to pay £10 million to family of seven year-old starved of oxygen at birth
One of the highest Court awarded settlements, say lawyers
The High Court has today ordered Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to pay £10.1 million to Eva Totham for injuries suffered during her birth at the hospital.
Eva’s parents, Sarah and Dean Totham of South-East London instructed law firm Hodge Jones & Allen (HJA) to pursue a clinical negligence claim on Eva’s behalf in 2008.
Eva was born on 4 October 2007. She was starved of oxygen at birth and suffered a hypoxic brain injury which resulted in her suffering severe dyskinetic cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs. Kings College Hospital admitted liability for her injuries, and conceded that there had been a negligent failure to expedite Eva’s birth.
The trial for damages took place at the High Court in December 2014 and judgment was handed down today by Mrs Justice Laing DBE.
The Court awarded damages which capitalise in excess of £10.1 million, one of the highest court awards for a claim for personal injuries following a contested trial to date.
Included in the settlement are damages for Eva’s past and future care. Eva needs assistance around the clock as she is entirely dependent on others for all aspects of day to day living. A substantial award was also made to compensate her for her future loss of earnings. The damages will also ensure she has all of the relevant therapies, aids and equipment, accommodation and assistive technology she needs for the rest of her life.
Agata Usewicz, partner at Hodge Jones & Allen acted for Eva’s parents, Sarah and Dean Totham, she says:
“I would like to pay tribute to Eva’s parents who have been strong and dignified throughout this lengthy process. Eva is a lovely, enthusiastic little girl, who makes the most of life despite her limitations.
“This case, as with all of the clinical negligence cases that we handle, was not about money, it was about securing justice. No amount of money will ever compensate for the injuries Eva has sustained, but this award will ensure that she is provided with the care she needs for the rest of her life, and has the opportunity to live her life to the fullest. The judgment brings to an end six years of the family’s fight for justice.”
William Latimer-Sayer and Catriona Stirling of Cloisters Chambers were instructed by Hodge Jones & Allen.
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Notes to editors:
Hodge Jones & Allen was founded in 1977 in Camden and has over 200 staff based in Euston NW1. The firm practices personal injury, clinical negligence, civil liberties, family law, wills and probate, housing, dispute resolution, criminal defence and serious fraud.