Birth/Neonatal Injury

Cerebral Palsy effects 1 in 400 children born in the UK each year. The term ‘Cerebral Palsy’ is an umbrella term covering a range of problems including paralysis, spasticity and sometimes learning disability all arising from brain damage sustained at or around the time of birth. Children with cerebral palsy often require high levels of extra care for the whole of their lives.

Sadly, some cases of cerebral palsy are preventable. In such cases there is often the failure to properly monitor the labour and spot signs of ‘foetal distress’. As a result, the baby suffers from asphyxiation, brain damage and in extreme cases – death.

Sometimes there are errors in neonatal/paediatric care leading to cerebral palsy. This often involves a delay in recognising/treating conditions such as respiratory distress syndrome, hypoglycaemia, jaundice or meningitis.

Erbs Palsy can occur as the result of complications during delivery. Erbs Palsy is caused by damage to the brachial plexus, a network of nerves which control the arm and hand. This can happen with shoulder dystocia – when the baby’s shoulder gets caught under the mother’s pubic bone during birth. Sometimes the required manoeuvres are not done or too much force is used to deliver the baby causing damage to these nerves.

Below are details of a number of cases where Ison Harrison have assisted clients who have suffered life changing injuries due to clinical negligence.

  • Case Report 1

    One of our Partners negotiated a settlement of £340,000 on behalf of a baby with Erb’s palsy. Our client was a large baby weighing more than 4.5 kg. After his head was delivered the midwife realised that shoulder dystocia had occurred. An obstetrician was called and completed the delivery. However, the obstetrician failed to perform any manoeuvres to free the shoulder and merely pulled on his head to deliver him.

    As a result he suffered a severe injury to his left arm. Despite surgery he was left with a permanent disability affecting his arm and hand. He needs extra care from his parents and his employment options are likely to be limited. 

    For confidential advice on how we can help with making a medical negligence claim for this condition contact us on 0113 284 5745 or

  • Case Report 2

    Our Clinical Negligence team recently secured a settlement figure of £2.7m following a legal case that started in 2007 surrounding a baby's catastrophic and irreversible brain damage after it developed jaundice. The Doctors failed to treat it promptly and the after effects resulted in severe cerebral palsy, deafness, limited version, the inability to speak and loss of function in the limbs. 

    The Ison Harrison legal team, consisting of Iain Oliver and Geraldine Kane, secured a Lump Sum of £2.7m for the baby, annual payments of £211,000 until she is 19 years old, which then rises to £264,000 up to the age of 21 and £281,000 thereafter for the rest of her life.

    Do you need to make a clinical negligence claim? Call us on 0113 284 5745 or email

  • Case Report 3

    In 2014, our Personal Injury partner Iain Oliver secured a financial settlement which amounted to over £6.7m for a Leeds-based client that had pursued a claim for clinical negligence.

    The claimant developed cerebral palsy following her birth at Leeds Teaching Hospital, where she was administered excessive quantities of fluid. Her disabilities include the inability to walk unaided, behavioural difficulties and incontinence.

    Iain Oliver secured a settlement of £3,450,000 for his client, with the addition of future payments to cover nursing care, amounting to approximately £3,250,000.

    If you need legal advice and would like to make a claim, please call 0113 284 5745 or email

We are also experienced with clinical negligence cases involving common birth injuries which affect the mother.

These include:    

1. Vaginal tears

2. Incorrect suturing (stitching) following a tear, episiotomy or a caesarean-section; 

3. Failure to manage pre-eclampsia or other infections

4. Death of the mother during childbirth

We specialise in birth injuries, cerebral palsy and Erb's Palsy so if you or your child have experienced a birth injury, call Ison Harrison now for free advice on 0113 284 5745 or email

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