Case Studies

Legal NI Podcast #3: Sophia’s cerebral palsy claim settled for £2.5m

4 minute read


Birth Injury Claims

Episode three of Legal NI, a case study podcast by McCartan Turkington Breen Solicitors.

Sophia was born prematurely and was very unwell at birth. There were failures in her treatment in relation to how her condition was monitored and treated in the early days of her life. Tragically, these failures led to her sustaining a serious condition which resulted in cerebral palsy and severe disablement. Those who suffer from severe cerebral palsy require care for their entire life. It is a condition that affects movement and muscle development and is caused by complications during or after childbirth that cause damage to the brain.

Clinical negligence claim for cerebral palsy in Northern Ireland

Sophia’s parents had been made aware of similar cases brought by McCartan Turkington Breen. Recognising us as experts in cerebral palsy claims, they contacted us for a free initial consultation. They instructed Harry McAleese who issued proceedings against the relevant Health and Social Care Trust. They denied liability.

To ensure Sophia received the maximum amount of compensation she was entitled to, Harry obtained reports from a variety of experts from different specialities. A forensic accountant was instructed to calculate the financial losses sustained. We obtained Legal Aid and instructed several cerebral palsy medical experts to report on liability and causation.

Living with cerebral palsy

Sophia’s condition is such that she will require specialist care and assistance for the rest of her life. She needs various forms of assistance including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and assistive technology. Her family home required structural adaptation to ensure it is suitable for her needs.

Court proceedings were issued and the case was listed for hearing. Our medical experts met with the Trust’s medical experts and shortly before the case was due to be heard, they offered to settle the case. Eventually, a very favourable settlement for our client was reached with the Trust making a large lump sum payment, and annual payments for the rest of Sophia’s life. The estimated total award was £2.5million.

In a press statement, Harry said, “the family are pleased that a settlement could be reached and that a trial was avoided. The compensation will allow the family to provide specialist care and assistance required by their child.”

Our medical negligence department can help your family too

If your child suffers from a birth injury such as cerebral palsy, our team of medical negligence solicitors are available to help you. You can learn more about our Medical Negligence Claims service or contact us for a free, no commitment discussion with a medical negligence specialist solicitor.


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