Compensation for Erbs Palsy Injury to Baby Following Negligent Delivery


The Client brought a claim against the NHS for failure to provide proper care to her mother during childbirth.  The Client suffered an Erb’s Palsy injury and sought damages. The Client made a claim for past care and assistance, additionally there was also a claim for future care and assistance and loss of earnings.


An out of Court settlement was agreed in excess of £180,000.

What Happened

The Case involved a young girl who had been injured during birth. Her mother had been having difficulties in delivering her and as such should have been placed in what is known as the “McRoberts position” during labour.

This was not done by the midwife on duty and when our Client was born she had suffered an arm injury, later diagnosed as Erb’s Palsy.

Erb’s palsy is a form of obstetric brachial plexus palsy. It occurs when there’s an injury to the brachial plexus, specifically the upper brachial plexus at birth. The injury can either stretch, rupture or avulse the roots of the plexus from the spinal cord. It is the most common birth-related neuropraxia.

Injuries to the brachial plexus affect movement and cutaneous sensations in the upper limb. Depending on the severity of the injury, the paralysis can either resolve on its own over a period of months, require rehabilitative therapy or surgery.

In our Client’s case she did require surgery and significant rehabilitation.

During the lifetime of the Claim we supported the Client in bringing a claim against the hospital Trust involved, we explained the likely length of time the case would take, the evidence required and what they would need to do. As the Client was a child for a part of her claim, we explained the need for a Litigation Friend and took instructions from the Claimant’s mother.

The evidence required in this case came from an expert in Midwifery, a Consultant Obstetrician, an Orthopedic Surgeon and a Care Expert.

The Midwifery expert and the Obstetrician would comment on breach of duty and causation and the Orthopedic and Care experts commented on Condition and Prognosis.

As the Claimant was injured at birth, a realistic settlement figure in respect of her claim could not be considered until such time as she had grown and her long term condition could be ascertained. It is nearly always the case that claims involving children with severe conditions take a long time to resolve as we must be sure as to what level of care or help they may require as and when they get older.

When necessary we travelled to the Client’s home to take detailed witness information and we instructed Counsel when required. We provided the Client with support and assistance when it came to seeing the medico-legal experts.

As liability was not admitted, we were instructed to issue proceedings at Court. After proceedings were issued and the Client reached the age of majority, we worked closely with her, providing her with advice as to the level of damages she may recover.

As the issue of Liability had not been resolved, the matter had to proceed to a hearing in respect of evidence required. The matter also proceeded to a hearing relating to the Defendant’s conduct in the case. We provided the Defendant with our evidence in support of our Client’s case that she required compensation to assist her in her everyday life then and into the future.

The Client instructed us to make an offer of settlement, this was not accepted by the Defendant, however, after a period of negotiation, the claim settled, by agreement for a figure in excess of £180,000

Our Client was very happy with the outcome, the matter was resolved and she could begin the process of rebuilding her life.

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Devonshires Claims
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Finsbury, London