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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 15:58 GMT
Court awards mother compensation
A Ballymena woman who was left acutely brain damaged after giving birth in a London hospital has been awarded 500,000 by the High Court.

Gillian Larkin, of Brocklamont Park, has been in a minimally conscious state since the day after her daughter was born at the Mayday Hospital in 1999.

Her husband, Stephen, claimed damages from the hospital trust on her behalf.

He alleged staff were negligent because a caesarean birth was not carried out after his wife developed complications.

Mr Larkin had argued that a caesarean delivery should have been carried out after his 40-year-old wife showed signs she was suffering from pre-eclampsia.

However, the Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust in Croydon denied blame and said Mrs Larkin's haemorrhage had been caused by a "congenital malformation" in the brain, meaning that an earlier planned delivery would have made no difference to the outcome.

Mr Justice Andrew Smith, sitting in the High Court in London, approved the 500,000 for Mrs Larkin and said her husband would have faced "clear litigation risks" had the case gone to trial.

He also paid tribute to Mr Larkin, a former British Airways worker, who has been caring for their baby daughter, Charlotte, and his wife since she suffered the brain damage.


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