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£3m payout for girl disabled at birth

PUBLISHED: 11:43 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:45 07 September 2010

A delightful and entertaining little girl, who was left facing a lifetime of disability due to oxygen starvation during her birth at the Royal Free Hospital, has won a £3million compensation payout. Lawyers for the six-year-old from Golders Green, who c

A "delightful and entertaining" little girl, who was left facing a lifetime of disability due to oxygen starvation during her birth at the Royal Free Hospital, has won a £3million compensation payout.

Lawyers for the six-year-old from Golders Green, who cannot be named because of her special vulnerability, argued that a negligent delay in her 2003 delivery caused her profound brain damage.

They claimed that had a midwife called a doctor to the mother's bedside earlier and the girl's delivery been carried out just 15 minutes earlier, she would have escaped permanent injury.

Instead she suffered acute hypoxia and cerebral palsy and will need an enormous amount of care and assistance for as long as she lives.

The girl sued the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, but they denied all blame, pointing out that she was delivered within 30 minutes of the foetal collapse and insisting the care given was "of a high standard".

However, at London's High Court, after lengthy negotiations, the Trust has now agreed to settle the six-year-old's case for £3million, on the basis of 50 per cent liability.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice MacDuff told the girl's mother: "It is very nice to see you here. You have been very well advised and this is a very good settlement. I wish you and your daughter all the best for the future."

Martin Spencer QC, for the NHS Trust, said that, during 2008, the girl had gone through a difficult period and had to spend six months in hospital, which "set her back enormously".

However, she has now bounced back to health and the barrister said: "All the experts have commented on what a delightful and entertaining little girl she is, on her ready smile and on her joy at what goes on around her.

"We are delighted that what once looked like a bleak future is now much better".

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