Retinopathy of prematurity

Manchester Strategic Health Authority

In this case we represented a girl who was 14 years old at settlement. She was a premature twin who has cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and retinopathy of prematurity, a serious eye condition which can affect premature babies and render them blind, as was the case here. Some records and evidence had been obtained by a non-specialist solicitor who had passed the case to us when the Defendant denied liability following service of a Letter of Claim.

We revisited liability and obtained some missing records and were able to obtain supportive evidence.

Proceedings were issued and served and the claim was denied in full. The key allegation was that although the appropriate treatment was provided, this was not undertaken as quickly as it should have been in all the circumstances of the case and that this caused our clients visual impairment.

During the life of the case an offer was made but this was too low and we advised our client to reject and continue.

The matter was fixed for a four day trial, however the Defendants made further offers in the run up to trial and at a ‘round table meeting’ a couple of weeks before trial. Again these were considered to be insufficient and we advised our client to proceed.

The claim eventually settled in the sum of £575,000.00 two weeks before trial. Due to our client being a minor at the time of settlement, the award of damages had to be approved by the court. This is standard practice and ensures that the court oversees all settlements agreed for children, so that they are properly protected against claims being undervalued.