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Sharia Law Compliant Settlement of Birth Injury Claim Achieved

A Sharia law compliant seven-figure settlement has been achieved for an eight-year-old girl who suffered a brain injury at birth. The girl is part of an observant Muslim family and advice was taken from an Islamic financial expert in reaching an outcome compliant with her faith.

It was alleged that there was a culpable delay in her hospital delivery and that a medical emergency arising from a prolapsed umbilical cord was negligently managed. Oxygen starvation resulted in severe brain damage. Physically, cognitively and visually impaired, she has no spoken language, is fed by a gastrostomy and depends on others for all her daily needs. She is, however, a happy child, adored by her parents who have shown enormous dedication to her care.

The NHS trust that manages the hospital where she was born made no admission of liability. However, following negotiations, it agreed to pay 75 per cent of the full value of her clinical negligence claim. Final settlement terms were achieved whereby she will receive a lump sum of £3.4 million, plus index-linked annual payments towards the costs of her care. Given her life expectancy to her mid-30s, the settlement has an overall capitalised value of about £9.3 million.

In order to ensure compliance with Sharia law, the annual payments will be made directly from the general NHS budget without the purchase of annuities. The girl's parents will receive £102,834 of the settlement sum as some reflection of their gratuitous care for their daughter. The High Court approved the settlement as a sensible compromise in the girl's best interests.