A 34 year old mathematics PhD graduate who only found out recently that his disabilities may have been caused by negligence during his birth, is fighting for his right to make a compensation claim.
Julius Whiston has suffered from cerebral palsy for all his life and has been wheelchair bound because of the condition. He has battled against his disabilities for all of his life, managing to go on to study at Eton before obtaining a PhD degree from Cambridge University.
Mr Whiston only recently discovered that his cerebral palsy may have been instigated by being starved of oxygen during his birth. He was born at Charlotte’s Hospital in Shepherd’s Bush, London in 1974, and it is thought that a junior doctor at the time spent too long trying to deliver him with forceps. This delay is believed to have caused the lack of oxygen.
Mr Whiston is now claiming compensation from the NHS for his injuries and the cost of living with his condition. However, the NHS is strongly challenging his claim. Birth injury victims are normally only legally allowed to make a claim for compensation before they reach the age of 21. Mr Whiston successfully won a High Court case last year though arguing that he did not know about the negligence until his mother informed him at the age of 30. It was therefore ruled that he is eligible to make a compensation claim.
The NHS is appealing that decision on the basis that it is unable to defend itself properly after such a long period of time. If it is unsuccessful in its appeal then Mr Whiston will be eligible for millions of pounds in compensation.