Norfolk girl’s £4.5m compensation pay-out

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney. - Credit: Evening News © 2009

A 10-year-old girl who suffered serious brain injuries from complications during her birth has won a £4.5m compensation payout.

Emily Dye, of Easton, developed cerebral palsy after her brain was starved of oxygen shortly before her delivery at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in 2003.

Despite denying responsiblity for her injuries, the NHS trust in charge of the hospital last year agreed to pay 70pc of her full damages claim.

And yesterday, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith – a judge at London's High Court – approved a final, seven-figure, settlement, including a lump sum of £1.9m, which will help secure Emily's future, paying tribute to her 'devoted' family.

Emily's legal team had claimed that medical staff failed to recognise her distress before she was delivered on April 13, 2003, with the delay leading to 'short but acute' foetal asphyxia. Emily now suffers from cerebral palsy and learning difficulties and will need full-time care for the rest of her life.

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Jane Mishcon, for Emily, said yesterday that any trial on liability would have been closely contested, with the girl's legal team claiming that she would have escaped serious injury if she had been delivered just five minutes earlier.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust contended that, even if she could have been born earlier, the damage was already done.

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Miss Mishcon said the final deal struck between the parties comprised a £1.9m lump sum, along with annual, index-linked and tax- free payments to cover the costs of Emily's care for life.

The total payout was valued at £4,540,000.

Of that sum, Emily's parents would receive £112,000 for their '10 years of devoted care', Miss Mishcon added.

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