Disabled son wins £3.5m compensation

A MOTHER spoke of her joy today after her severely disabled son who suffered brain damage during his birth was awarded £3.55million.Wheelchair-user Andrew Gordon, born at the Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital in 1971, sued the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA).

A MOTHER spoke of her joy today after her severely disabled son who suffered brain damage during his birth was awarded £3.55million.

Wheelchair-user Andrew Gordon, born at the Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital in 1971, sued the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA).

Lawyers acting on behalf of the SHA admitted liability in November last year for the brain damage Mr Gordon suffered.

At London's High Court yesterday, they agreed to settle the 33-year-old's claim, which he pursued through his mother, Marianne.


You may also want to watch:


Speaking after the hearing, she said: "Myself and Andrew are delighted the case has been brought to a resolution.

"I'm very touched by the public apology issued by the health authority in open court."

Most Read

Mr Gordon, of Sprowston Road, Norwich, who has cerebral palsy, needs round-the-clock care and lives in a residential care home.

Mr Justice McKinnon, who approved the settlement, heard that Mr Gordon's mother, who accompanied her son to court, went into labour three weeks early in January 1971 and went to Ipswich Maternity Home.

In court, Martin Spencer QC, for Mr Gordon, said nurses should have called for medical advice much sooner than they did.

Mr Gordon's mother was eventually transferred to the Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital, where she gave birth at 7.15pm on January 19, 1971.

Mr Spencer added that Mr Gordon should have been delivered at least 15 minutes earlier at the hospital and, if he had been, he would not have suffered the devastating injuries he did.

For the first five minutes of his life Mr Gordon, who was severely asphyxiated during delivery, did not have a heartbeat, and he did not begin breathing for 20 minutes.

Christopher Mellor, for the SHA, said: "The health authority would like to express their apologies to Mr Gordon and his family, and they are very pleased a settlement has been agreed.

"They would like to wish the family all the best for the future."

Simon John, senior partner at Kester Cunningham John solicitors in Thetford, who represented Mr Gordon, said the money would pay for his long-term care.

He said: "Andrew has always longed to live in his own home with carers and that will now happen."

Mr John, who has worked on the case for three years, added: "The amount awarded is towards the upper end of the bracket. We're very pleased.

"It shows that if people do dare to explore this possibility, the outcome can be favourable."

What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter