The High Court has today, 1 October 2013, approved terms of settlement in the claim commenced by a seven year old boy, Yiqun Zhang, who sustained severe brain injuries as a consequence of a parietal bone fracture and intracranial and subgaleal haemorrhages suffered during the course of his birth at Homerton Hospital in East London in 2006. He has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
The trust responsible for Homerton Hospital originally denied liability for Yiqun’s injuries but accepted that they were sustained during his caesarean section delivery, which was performed because his head was deeply impacted in his mother's pelvis. The case proceeded to a trial in relation to liability in 2012, which was heard by Mr Justice Hickinbottom, who gave judgement in Yiqun’s favour, having heard evidence from the doctors and midwife involved in his delivery as well as from obstetric experts instructed by both parties.
The judge found that Yiqun's injuries were due to the manoeuvres carried out by the attending obstetric registrar whilst attempting to disimpact his head from his mother's pelvis, which involved excessive, unnecessary and dangerous force being applied to his head and amounted to a breach of the duty of care she owed him.
Since the trial, the parties have assessed Yiqun’s needs for, in particular, care, housing, therapies and equipment. The parties were able to agree terms of settlement in the form of a lump sum payment and periodical payments to be made annually for the rest of Yiqun’s life. These terms of settlement have now been approved by the court.
Alison Appelboam Meadows, partner in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Solicitors LLP, who acted on Yiqun's behalf, said: "No amount of money can ever give Yiqun the life he would have had if he not suffered such serious injuries at the time of his birth. However, now that a settlement has been agreed between the parties and approved by the court, he can be provided with the care, equipment and therapies that he needs to maximise his potential."