High Court approves cash settlement for boy’s future care

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An 11-year-old Great Yeldham boy, who suffered permanent injuries at birth because of errors made by midwives, has received an undisclosed sum for his future care.

Benjamin Garwood was born in 2002 with Erb’s palsy, a medical condition caused by damage to the nerves in his arm, leaving him paralysed and needing help with basic day-to-day tasks.

His mother Alison Wicks, who is his full-time carer, instructed medical law experts Irwin Mitchell who secured a full admission of responsibility from The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust in 2011.

A settlement was approved at the High Court in London last week to fund specialist therapies and care, and to cover Benjamin’s future loss of earnings. The trust also offered a full apology to the family.

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding Benjamin’s injuries revealed that, despite midwives knowing that his shoulder had become stuck during his birth, they did not follow basic procedures that would have prevented his injury and ensured a safe delivery.

The hospital trust admitted that midwives failed to move his mother into the correct position, carry out recommended internal manoeuvres or alert an obstetrician within a reasonable time.

Benjamin was not breathing when he was born and his arm was limp.

Alison said: “I only hope that lessons will now be learnt from what happened to us and my son to ensure that no other families ever have to suffer in the same way.”