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Cerebral palsy sufferer wins right to sue

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A London health authority could be sued for damages by a cerebral palsy sufferer who claims his condition was caused by oxygen deprivation around the time of his birth.

Julius Whiston, who is now 34, was born at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in London in September 1974.

He took his case to the High Court after the London strategic health authority, which denies liability, said that the action he launched in October 2006 should be stopped as it was brought outside the legal time limit.

However, Mr Whiston, who won an Eton scholarship and gained a place at Cambridge, argued that his claim should proceed as he did not acquire the relevant knowledge until November 2005.

He said this was when he was made aware of his mother’s suspicions that his condition was caused by the medical negligence of a junior doctor who had attempted unsuccessfully to carry out a forceps delivery for half an hour.

He told Mr Justice Eady at London’s High Court that until then he had thought that his disability was ‘just one of those things’.

The authority argued that Mr Whiston was aware his condition was caused by brain injury due to lack of oxygen during delivery well before his 18th birthday.

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