Blind girl from Plaistow wins payout after birth drama

A blind schoolgirl who celebrated her tenth birthday this month has won a “substantial” compensation package from the two hospitals which treated her in her first months of life.

Chloe Daniell, of Plaistow, was left unable to see after her retinas became detached due a problem during her premature birth at Whitechapel’s The Royal London Hospital in March 2001.

Last week the trust which manages the hospital - and another which runs Newham General Hospital where Chloe was later transferred - agreed to a final settlement of her compensation claim.

Lawyers for Chloe claimed NHS staff administered too much oxygen to the tiny baby after her mother, Kathleen Daniell, gave premature birth to her.

They said medics’ actions contributed to “retinopathy in prematurity”, a rare condition which caused Chloe’s retinas to become detached. Her problems were worsened by a form of autism she later developed, the court heard.


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Barts and the London NHS Trust, and Newham University Hospitals Trust, agreed to compensate Chloe on the basis of two thirds liability.

Sarah Vaughan-Jones QC, for the two NHS trusts, told the High Court today: “The trusts wish to express their admiration of Chloe’s family. It is hoped that (the compensation) will make life easier both for Chloe and for them.”

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Robert Glancy QC, for Chloe, told the court despite her problems the brave youngster was doing very well at Whitefields specialist school in north east London.

He said the compensation was not enough to cover the full costs of Chloe’s needs, but would pay for a carer, allowing her father to return to work.

Judge Peter Ralls QC approved the settlement, which will take the form of a lump sum paid now and index-linked and tax-free annual payments to cover the costs of the care and support she will need for life.

He said: “On behalf of the court I wish Mr and Mrs Daniell well in the future. They have both shown great fortitude of spirit and sympathy in the way they have looked after Chloe.”

Though the exact terms of the settlement have been kept confidential, millions of pounds are routinely awarded by the courts in birth injury cases.

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