Cases from Lawtel's PI Quantum Database. Contact Nick Conway on 0171 970 4803.

Whitley (by her father & next friend Denys Whitley) v West Kent Health Authority (1999) QBD (Butterfield J) 1 March 1999

Plaintiff: Female, new-born at date of accident; 10 years old at date of trial.

Incident: The plaintiff was a second twin born on 13 April 1988 at Maidstone Hospital, Kent. Her sister was delivered without injury, but the plaintiff's birth required a Caesarean section. She was born after a 30-minute delay while an anaesthetist was found. The plaintiff alleged the hospital had been negligent in failing to have an anaesthetist present in the labour ward and claimed a Caesarean section should have been performed earlier.

Injuries: During her birth, the plaintiff was starved of oxygen and due to hypoxia was left with cerebral palsy. She was diagnosed with dystonic quadriplegia, unable to stand or walk unaided. She also suffered from spasms and could not communicate effectively. However, the plaintiff's intelligence was unaffected and she was fully aware of her condition and surroundings. The plaintiff would require intensive 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Award: u2,500,000 total damages (out-of-court settlement)

Plaintiff's solicitor: Charles Russell

Plaintiff's counsel: David Richardson

Dennah v Central Middlesex Hospitals NHS Trust (1999) QBD (Wright J) 1 March 1999

Plaintiff: Male, new-born at date of accident; 7 years old at date of trial.

Incident: The plaintiff's mother attended the hospital on 16 December 1991 to give birth. Her labour was normal to the second stage, but it was discovered the umbilical cord was around the plaintiff's neck and his shoulder was obstructing the delivery path. An episiotomy was performed but head traction was still needed. Although otherwise healthy, he sustained a serious injury to his arm. The plaintiff contended that the episiotomy was insufficient and excessive head traction was applied.

Injuries: The plaintiff suffered a fracture of the ipse lateral clavicle and a serious injury to his right brachial plexus and peripheral nerves. Due to the injury to his right arm he was left suffering from Erb's Palsy. By the date of trial, although he had only limited use of his right arm it was not rendered useless as originally feared.

Award: u62,869.25 total damages (out-of-court settlement)

Plaintiff's solicitor: G Mistry & Co

Plaintiff's counsel: Susan Rodway

William Moseley v London Underground (1999) QBD (Mr J Hunt QC) 26 February

Plaintiff: Male, 32 years old at date of accident; 37 years old at date of trial.

Incident: On 21 January 1994, the plaintiff was moving rails on the London Underground system. He was struck in the face by a six-foot long steel bar and knocked to the ground.

Injuries: The plaintiff suffered a spinal disc prolapse as he fell. He also claimed he had sustained brain damage, but this was not accepted by the judge. It was also held that the heart complaint he developed was not connected to the incident. He suffered chronic neck pain and a significant loss of mobility. At the date of trial, he still experienced back pain. He was incapable of heavy work but could be employed at lighter manual tasks.

Award: u153,718 total damages.

Plaintiff's solicitor: Shepherd Harris & Co

Plaintiff's counsel: Adrian Salter