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After four years of ongoing litigation by Access Legal, the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust finally admitted negligence leading to the death of Michelle Hemmington's and Paul Buckley’s son Louie, who died within 30 minutes of being born in May 2011.
Louie was officially declared stillborn, which Michelle still disputes. Despite a convincing mass of evidence to support the family’s claim, the Trust continued to deny negligence and disputed liability.
Had the Trust admitted liability much earlier than they did, they would have saved themselves costs and Michelle and her family could have been spared four years of emotional anguish.
Further lengthy negotiations were required to secure a compensation award totalling £42,500 for Michelle herself and claims for psychiatric injuries suffered by Louie’s father, Paul Buckley and Michelle’s twin sister, Donna Bevin, who were both present during the labour and birth.
Many may think the amount awarded is very little given the obvious distress and psychological injuries Michelle, her husband and sister suffered, but these sort of sums are the best that can now be obtained in these cases. Recent changes in the law make claims by close relations who have witnessed shocking trauma as secondary victims much more difficult and in some cases virtually impossible.
Listen to Michelle’s story in this video.