The few moments it takes for a baby to be born can resonate for a lifetime if the delivery is blighted by negligence. In one case, a teenager who suffered permanent damage to the nerves that control his right arm and shoulder due to excessive force being used to deliver him won a six-figure compensation award from the NHS.
The dedication of the 16-year-old boy's parents, and a rigorous regime of stretching exercises, has minimised his disabilities to the point that he is able to play rugby to a high standard and hopes to play professionally. He has done well at school, but the movements of his dominant upper limb will always be restricted.
The NHS trust that ran the hospital where he was born admitted full liability for his injuries and a £500,000 settlement of his claim was negotiated. In approving the award, the High Court paid tribute to his parents and wished the teenager well, both on the sports field and elsewhere.