Cuming & Gillespie has acted for numerous children dealing with cerebral palsy resulting from injuries sustained during their birth. These cases are high-risk, complicated and generally take years to litigate and either get to trial or otherwise resolve. They are also high stakes in that the severity of the injury and the level of care these children need as a result means that the outcome of the case will have a life-altering impact on them and their families.
One such case that we are particularly proud of was brought on behalf of a young girl who had suffered significant oxygen deprivation during and following her birth, which resulted in severe brain injury and a diagnosis of severe cerebral palsy. In prosecuting this case, we dealt with issues of liability, causation, life expectancy and damages. The allegation was that the physicians and nursing staff involved failed to recognize signs of both maternal and fetal distress, resulting in an unreasonable delay in delivering the baby, and following delivery, failed to properly resuscitate the baby.
The severity of injury was such that our medical experts confirmed that she would never live without 24-hour professional care and had spent the majority of her young life in hospital.
In litigating this claim, Cuming & Gillespie retained experts in the areas of obstetrics, neonatology and neurology on the liability, causation and life expectancy issues. A number of additional experts were retained to substantiate the damages. While there were numerous issues at play, the most difficult aspect of this case was our client’s life expectancy and the very real possibility that she would not survive the time required to get the matter to trial.
Despite the Defendants obtaining expert opinions of their own that could have been relied upon by a court to dismiss or reduce an award for damages, and despite our client’s life expectancy being a significant factor, we were able to negotiate a multi-million dollar settlement prior to our client’s 5th birthday. In this area of litigation, where cases are often battled out at trial or settled on the eve of trial, we are proud to have achieved this result without a trial date having yet been set.