A woman, who was starved of oxygen at birth and has suffered a lifetime of learning difficulties, has had a settlement of lack of oxygen compensation approved at London´s Royal Courts of Justice.
Susanne Turner (45) from Wittersham in Kent was given birth to at Buchanan Street Hospital in St Leonards-on-Sea after a delayed Caesarean operation due to neither a surgeon nor an anaesthetist being available to perform the procedure. Due to this, Susanne was deprived of oxygen in the womb, unable to breathe independently when she was born and sustained serious brain damage.
Susanne´s parents – Christopher and Sandra – raised Susanne without financial assistance, and unaware that they were entitled to claim compensation for lack of oxygen at birth, until they read a magazine article which explained Susanne´s rights to compensation.
When they sought legal advice about the situation they found themselves in, Christopher and Sandra discovered that – as Susanne did not have the mental capacity to bring a claim for mismanaged birth compensation herself – they were still within the time frame allowed to sue the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority for the negligent situation which had occurred in 1967.
After reviewing the claim for lack of oxygen at birth compensation, South East Coast Strategic Health Authority quickly admitted their liability for Susanne´s birth injury and, at the Royal Courts of Justice, issued a formal apology for the mismanagement of Susanne´s birth.
Approving the settlement of lack of oxygen at birth compensation, which will take the form of annual payments and a lump sum payment to pay for a specially-adapted home for Susanne, judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies paid tribute to Christopher and Sandra´s “love and devotion”. The settlement is believed to be worth 4.2 million pounds and will provide Susanne with the care she needs for the rest of her life.