Woman whose son was born disabled because of health board’s negligence loses compensation battle

Woman whose son was born disabled because of health board's negligence loses compensation battle

A woman whose son was born severely disabled has lost her legal battle for compensation despite judges finding NHSnurses acted negligently.

She contested what is thought to be one of the largest civil proofs in Scotland in an attempt to secure millions of pounds to fund her son’s care.

The woman’s son was born in 1996 at the Queen Mother’s Hospital in Glasgow with cerebral palsy – which left him with “significant learning difficulties and motor disabilities”.

He now requires constant care.

The mother sued NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in 2006, with her case calling to the Court of Session for a proof in September 2013.

Lord Brailsford took a year to complete his written judgment after evidence was delivered over 51 days with 30 experts and other witnesses.

The health board’s lawyer suggested the mother was “confabulating” details but the judge rejected this argument, describing her as credible.

The mother said the midwives’ mistakes resulted in her not being admitted to hospital soon enough to prevent her son from developing cerebral palsy.

Lord Brailsford said: “I am satisfied that the midwives employed by the defenders and blamed by the pursuer in this action were negligent.”

However, he added: “I am of opinion that there is no negligent act for which the defenders are responsible which caused any delay in the delivery.”

Darren Deery, solicitor for the mother, said: “It is particularly hard for clients when the court finds that there has been negligence, so somebody got something wrong, but they still don’t get compensation in a multi-million-pound claim.

He added: “Any family with a child or adult with cerebral palsy, would benefit from compensation to assist with care needs.

“In all of these cases, it it usually not about the here and now; it is about what happens in the future when the parents are no longer here and you have a child or adult with care costing potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds per year.

“I understand that this is one of the longest civil running proofs in Scotland ever. “

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We have only just received the judgement and it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this stage.”

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