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Boy with Paralysed Right Arm Wins £650,000 Damages

The family of a 13-year-old boy, whose right arm was left almost useless as a result of nerve damage suffered during his difficult birth, have succeeded in winning him more than £650,000 in compensation from the NHS.

The boy was an unusually large baby and his shoulder became wedged in the birth canal during his hospital delivery. This resulted in damage to the plexus of nerves in his shoulder and a permanent condition known as Erb's palsy. Although he has done much to overcome his disability, and is a keen swimmer, he has almost no useful function in the affected limb.

The NHS trust which ran the hospital denied liability on the basis that, even if the boy's mother had been warned of the risks associated with a natural birth, she would not have opted for a Caesarean delivery. However, the High Court found that, had she been warned of the potential dangers as she should have been, she would have put her baby's wellbeing first and his injury would thus have been avoided.

The teenager was awarded total damages of £652,472.

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