Birth Injury / Cerebral Palsy
Compensation - Lump sum £1.75 million and periodical payments
Kyle Burch was born on 4 July 2001 at Colchester General Hospital. Kyle was starved of oxygen at birth after his delivery was delayed by nearly five hours, resulting in severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epilepsy, partial blindness and partial deafness.
The history of events is that on 3 July 2001 Mrs Burch was admitted to the maternity unit at Harwich Maternity Hospital at about 23:15 hours with a history of contractions. There was concern about Kyle’s wellbeing and Mrs Burch was transferred from Harwich Hospital to Colchester General Hospital at about 03:01 hours on 4 July arriving there at 03.28 hours.
Kyle was not born until 08:14 hours on that day. He was in poor condition and needed to be incubated. He was transferred to the Special Care Baby Unit and then to Addenbrookes Hospital when he was just over two days old.
His condition at birth was consistent with chronic partial asphyxia over a period of several hours before delivery. He was diagnosed by the consultant paediatric neurologist advising in the claim with severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
Kyle will remain severely physically and mentally disabled throughout his life. He will never be able to live independently and will require carers to help him undertake the activities of daily living. He will always lack capacity to manage his own affairs and has a reduced life expectancy. The claim made on Kyle’s behalf was that he should have been born by 03.30 hours and that had he been born by that time then he would have suffered none of the injury caused to him.
Colchester Hospital accepted 80% liability in the claim and the settlement was approved in the High Court on 4 June 2009. Negotiations then took place in relation to the level of the award and settlement for Kyle.
Expert evidence was obtained across a number of disciplines, including care and case management, educational psychology, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, paediatric neurology and assistive technology.
The Judge at the Royal Courts of Justice approved the settlement on 31 March 2010; Kyle was awarded a lump sum payment of £1.75 million together with periodical payments starting December 2010 of £72,000, rising to £100,000 in 2014 and £152,000 in 2020. These sums are index linked.
Tracy Burch says: “It’s been a long haul to get this far and it will make a huge difference to all our lives because we’ll be able to get the accommodation and support we need for Kyle. We would like to thank Thompson Smith and Puxon because it’s thanks to them that we have got this far. Their expertise was crucial in finding out the relevant information.”
Tracy added: “We would like to thank family and friends. We are a loving and close knit family and we’ve relied on them for help and support, especially with transport and child minding. We’d also like to take the opportunity to say how proud we are of Kyle after all he has been through, coped with and has achieved this far. Long may it continue for the future.”
Following the settlement Kyle became a client of the Court of Protection who appointed Julian Wilson as his Deputy to help manage Kyle’s property and affairs.
Julian Wilson, who pursued the claim on behalf of Kyle’s parents said: “It has been a complex and challenging litigation of significant value to Kyle. Although the experience of caring for Kyle has been a rewarding one for both Mr and Mrs Burch there is no doubt that the burden of looking after a child with Kyle’s disabilities is challenging.”Close...