A ten -year-old girl who suffered extensive brain damage during delivery causing cerebral palsy
and severe epilepsy was in May 2012 awarded damages of £2 million together with indexed linked annual payments
of £325,000 to cover her care and other special needs for the rest of her life.
Harriet Riley’s brain was starved of oxygen during her mother’s labour in June 2002 at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, South Wales. She needs help with every aspect of daily life. Despite her problems, Harriet, known as ‘Smiley Riley,’ is gutsy and sociable.
Harriet’s compensation will enable her family to buy a more suitable property, so the whole family can be together on one level giving Harriet access to the whole house including her siblings’ bedrooms. Harriet will more readily be able to use her wheelchair inside the home and to go out in to the garden, which she loves to do. Her damages fund will also allow the family to have a bathroom especially adapted for Harriet so she can be hoisted in and out of the bath and to buy a car which can fit all Harriet’s equipment and allows them to travel together as a family.
Harriet requires 24 hour care and the compensation paid means that her family can now pay carers to help look after Harriet allowing her mother to devote some time to her other children and get some sleep.
Harriet’s father Chris Riley said: “the litigation was hard fought and not without its ups and downs. We were advised and prepared for these setbacks, twists and turns by the very wise and canny Anne Winyard and guided on an almost weekly basis by the brilliantly dedicated Kirsten Wall”.
He added, “It has been a privilege to witness the case evolve and cathartic to see, and hear, Harriet’s name mentioned, and printed, in all this officialdom. It puts her firmly on the map. Whereas our little girl herself cannot be heard I can think of no finer voices to speak on her behalf!”