Litigation Personal Injury 16/12/97

Nelm v Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Health Authority – QBD 27 October 1997

Claimant: Beth Nelm, Incident: Medical negligence

Injuries: Claimant suffered oxygen starvation during birth at

St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth, in 1990, resulting in severe cerebral palsy. She is now quadriplegic and will never be able to lead a normal life. It was the recollection of the claimant's parents that her foetal heart rate began to dip alarmingly just after 6am on 26 March 1990 when a midwife sister dealing with the mother's labour "went on a tea break". Another midwife was placed in charge but was said to have "wasted valuable time" changing the heart monitoring machine because she was not satisfied that its read-outs were accurate.

Award: Damages to be assessed. Defendant, while not admitting liability, has agreed to pay damages on a 70 per cent basis

Judge: Mr Justice Timothy Walker

Plaintiff's counsel: Michael Brent QC

Plaintiff's solicitor: Pritchard Englefield

Daly v Surrey County Council – QBD 24 October 1997

Claimant: Eileen Daly, 6Incident: accident at work

Injuries: Claimant's husband was trapped beneath 12 feet of earth in a drainage trench on a building site where he was working. Colleagues attempted to dig him out and the fire brigade arrived to assist. His wife, in what is believed to be first claim of its kind, alleged that attempts by the fire brigade to free her husband hindered rather than helped the rescue. Her husband died but she claimed that if the rescue had been left to her husband's work mates he would probably have survived.

Decision: claim dismissed

Judge: Mr Justice May

Plaintiff's counsel: Richard Davies QC

Plaintiff's solicitor: Clifford & Co