Parents welcome £2.95m settlement
Friday 13th September 2013, 12:20PM BST.
The parents of a youngster who has received a multimillion pay-out from a hospital after she suffered brain damage following complications during her birth have said their One Direction-loving daughter is an “inspiration”.
Lawyers for Ruby Curtis, eight, said they have negotiated a £2.95m lump sum with further annual payments to provide care and equipment, therapy and support at school.
A spokeswoman for law firm Irwin Mitchell said Ruby suffers from cerebral palsy which was caused by staff failures during her birth at St James’s Hospital in Leeds in 2005.
She said that her mother, Lisa Curtis, from Garforth, Leeds, was admitted to St James’s in August 2005.
Mrs Curtis’s uterus ruptured and, according to Irwin Mitchell, there was a failure to recognise that this serious complication had occurred. As a result, Ruby was starved of oxygen, causing the irreparable brain damage.
Ruby now has athetoid cerebral palsy that affects her motor skills and means she requires help with all aspects of daily living including personal care, feeding, play, and education.
Although Ruby can make vocal sounds she has no clear speech. She uses h er eyes to operate her communication aid and computer and drives an electric powered wheelchair.
The spokeswoman said Ruby is thriving at the specialist Percy Hedley School, in Newcastle.
Mrs Curtis, 40, said: “Ruby is a fantastic little girl and we are so proud of her. She is such an inspiration to us both.
“While it’s heart-breaking to see her unable to do so many of the things the majority of other children take for granted, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect daughter.
“We want Ruby to experience as much as she can in life and we help her as best we can.”
Mrs Curtis said: ” Ruby loves the same things as most other eight-year-old girls such as One Direction, Disney princesses and shopping and she likes to get involved in as many activities as possible. She enjoys playing powerchair football, going swimming and to the cinema and she has recently joined Brownies near her school in Newcastle.”
Her husband, Steve, 41, said: ” The settlement awarded today means Ruby can now continue to attend this fabulous school as it well help fund her fees, accommodation in Newcastle and one-on-one support.
“Ruby’s condition affects every aspect of her life and she needs round the clock assistance to meet her needs.
“The settlement approved today gives us peace of mind that she will have the funds to pay for the care, support, therapy and specialist equipment and technology that she needs to maximise her independence and help her reach her full potential for the rest of her life.”
Rachelle Mahapatra, a partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The challenge in Ruby’s case was ensuring that we are able to provide her with as much independence as possible in her life. This includes having full-time professional carers so that mum and dad can be just that, and so that one day she can go to university and live as full a life as possible.
“The hospital admitted majority responsibility which paved the way for the settlement approved today.
“Ruby’s family have shown tremendous devotion and support to help her achieve the best quality of life possible over the last eight years, but the fact remains that her brain injury is so severe she needs specialist help from professionals and the settlement will now provide exactly that.”
She said the settlement was approved by Leeds District Registry today.