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Denise Stephens of Shoosmiths helped Suzanne Adams and her son James Robshaw look forward to a brighter future after he suffered cerebral palsy following delays during his birth. Midwives could not interpret the CTG trace correctly and were unaware that James was in distress. That and the additional failure to carry out a timely caesarean section meant there was a delay in delivering James.
If hospital staff had monitored the baby's heart rate properly, the midwife could have identified that James was in distress and a caesarean section had been carried out. In either event, he would have been delivered much sooner and so would not have suffered cerebral palsy.
James cannot speak, dress or feed himself (without assistance of a machine) and must use a wheelchair. His intellect has remained intact and he communicates through sophisticated eye-gaze equipment. He will however be dependent on others to enable him to carry out the most routine daily tasks for the rest of his life.
The hospital finally admitted liability for the cause of James's cerebral palsy seven years after his birth. It took a further six years to fight for damages for James. The total compensation of £14.6m ordered by the High Court is one of the highest awards for compensation in a cerebral palsy claim in the UK and includes money to pay for all the family’s future needs.
Listen to James’ story in this video: