Onehouse/Bury St Edmunds: Young woman hopes to settle legal case against hospital

A YOUNG woman hopes to settle her legal case today against West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds where she claims she sustained serious injuries at birth.

Samantha Gooding, 25, from Onehouse, near Stowmarket, was effectively stillborn after the umbilical cord tore during delivery at the hospital in September 1987.

As a result she suffers from cerebral palsy, with a weakness in both legs and moderate learning difficulties.

Lawyers for the two parties have reached an agreement on the principles of a damages settlement, but today’s hearing at the High Court in London is to determine the actual sum involved.

Trefine Maynard, a partner and medical negligence specialist with AshtonKCJ who is acting on behalf of Miss Gooding, said: “Until a few years ago, Samantha suffered with serious epilepsy, but fortunately she seems to have grown out of that.

“She will always remain dependent on others for all aspects of her care but, despite her problems, she lives a very full life which gives her great enjoyment.

“The defendants have already paid some damages on account, and Sam has used the money to set up some additional care and, more significantly, to buy and adapt a bungalow for herself.

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“Work on the house is just about complete and Sam hopes to move in with her own care team by the end of the year.

“It’s hoped the court will agree the detail of the settlement and Samantha can at last get on with her life.”

A spokesman for NHS Midlands and East, which is dealing with the claim, said they would not be commenting until after the hearing.

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