Essex

Braintree brain-damaged girl awarded £1.7m

The family of a brain-damaged girl is to receive £1.7m in settlement with an Essex hospital which had denied liability for her injuries.

Niamh Ridgwell's family sued the trust which runs Basildon Hospital, claiming there were delays in her birth in 2004.

The High Court heard Niamh's mother told midwives she was in pain and was advised three times to stay at home.

Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals NHS Trust denied liability but agreed on the £1.7m financial settlement.

'Financial contribution'

The family's lawyer alleged Niamh would have been delivered sooner and may not have been starved of oxygen if her mother been told to get to hospital earlier.

The settlement means Niamh, who has severe cerebral palsy, will have specially-adapted accommodation and some of the cost of her future care needs will be met.

The hospital trust released a statement to say it had investigated the allegations and entered a defence based on expert evidence.

"After careful consideration and negotiation, a settlement has now been agreed between the parties which is satisfactory to both parties," it added.

"This will provide a financial contribution to help those who look after Niamh to meet her needs."

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