Erb’s palsy boy wins £462,500

Posted: 27th June 2013

Lawyers representing a ‘courageous’ schoolboy who was left with a paralysed right arm due to nerve damage suffered during his hospital birth have achieved a £462,500 settlement of his claim against an NHS trust. The settlement is believed to be one of the largest ever achieved in an Erb’s palsy case.

Hospital signBenjamin Garwood suffered damage to the plexus of nerves controlling his shoulder and right arm in the latter stages of his delivery at Ipswich Hospital in April 2002, leading to permanent and severe restriction of movement in the limb.

Although he makes the most of his limitations, the 11-year-old had to learn to write with his left hand despite his right hand being naturally dominant. He mainly uses the stricken limb to help provide balance and to assist with tasks such as holding the paper steady whilst he writes. His injuries prevent him carrying out a range of daily activities and from taking part in many sports and pastimes.

Benjamin’s legal team sued the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust alleging negligence in the management of his delivery. The trust admitted liability and, through its counsel, issued an apology to Benjamin and his family in open court.

In approving the settlement, Mrs Justice Swift commended Benjamin's mother for providing ‘the greatest possible support’ and paid tribute to the schoolboy for ‘his sterling attempts to do the very best he can in all aspects of life’.  Wishing Benjamin well for the future, the judge concluded: "He is obviously a very courageous and determined boy. I wish him and his mother well”.