Parents receive $5 million over bungled baby birth
A couple in Perth will keep their $5.2 million in damages after their child suffered severe and lifelong brain injuries during birth after a court challenge.
It has been revealed that during Cooper Ellis' birth at Bentley Hospital in August 2009, doctor Hamza Amira repeatedly tried to use an instrumental delivery, specifically one using vacuum extraction devices.
Cooper was eventually delivered via a combination of techniques.
However it was during the birthing process he was deprived of oxygen and his heart rate flatlined.
The young boy required resuscitation and also suffered other injuries.
His parents Chris Ellis and Michelle Hoglin launched legal action against the East Metropolitan Health Service and claimed that Cooper's injuries were a result of the horrifying circumstances of his birth.
WA District Court Judge Michael Gething sided with the family in 2018, saying Dr Amira's negligence caused Cooper's birth injuries.
He also acknowledged that his subsequent developmental and cognitive impairments were due to the birthing process.
The EMHS took the case to the WA Court of Appeal, but on Thursday the application was thrown out.
The appeal judges said the birth was "prolonged and difficult".
"(Cooper) did not take his first breath until five minutes after birth and underwent resuscitation for 20 minutes," they said.
The infant did not start moving his legs until an hour after birth, the judge added.
Slater and Gordon principal lawyer Jeffrey Potter said in a statement the firm was pleased to have assisted the family to succeed with the complex case.
Mr Potter said Cooper's parents were relieved their "long and hard-fought battle" was finally over.
Now they will continue to focus on their 11-year-old son's ongoing care.
The $5.2 million will go towards ensuring Cooper has the support he will need for the rest of his life.
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