Compensation Claim for Delayed Treatment Resolved in $8 Million Settlement

A family who made a claim for delayed treatment after their son suffered brain damage at birth are to receive a compensation package estimated to be worth six million pounds.

Joseph O´Reggio (11) from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, was delivered at the city´s New Cross Hospital in April 2001 following an alleged failure by the hospital staff to act on monitor readings from his mother – Rachel – which indicated that Joseph´s heart rate had dropped.

A specialist was not summoned to assess Rachel´s condition for nearly twelve hours – during which time Joseph suffered from oxygen starvation in the womb and was born with severe cerebral palsy – unable to speak or feed himself and requiring 24-hour care.

Joseph´s parents made a compensation claim for the delayed treatment against the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, claiming that Joseph´s injuries could have been prevented if maternity staff at the hospital had acted on the readings which were being displayed by the heart rate monitor.

The Trust initially denied its liabilities for Joseph´s injuries but, during a High Court hearing last year, admitted that Joseph should have been born an hour earlier. An agreement was negotiated in which the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust would not have to acknowledge their liability, but would make periodic payments to the family based on 80 percent of what a full settlement of compensation for delayed treatment would amount to.

At the Royal Courts of Justice it was announced that after a full assessment of the claim for delayed treatment compensation and Joseph´s anticipated life expectancy, the family would receive a package which was valued at six million pounds – sufficient for the family to move into a specially adapted home and provide care for Joseph for the remainder of his life.