Couple keep $5m over birth bungle
A Perth couple who were awarded $5.2 million in damages after their baby suffered severe and lifelong brain injuries during birth have successfully fought off a court challenge.
During Cooper Ellis' birth at Bentley Hospital in August 2009, doctor Hamza Amira repeatedly tried an instrumental delivery, specifically one using vacuum extraction devices.
Cooper was eventually delivered via a combination of techniques, but during the birthing process he was deprived of oxygen and his heart rate flatlined.
He required resuscitation and also suffered other injuries.
His parents Chris Ellis and Michelle Hoglin launched legal action against the East Metropolitan Health Service, claiming Cooper's injuries were a result of the traumatic 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, as well as his subsequent developmental and cognitive impairments.
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, they 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, and they could now focus on their 11-year-old son's ongoing care.
The money will go towards ensuring Cooper has the support he will need for the rest of his life.
Originally published as Couple keep $5m over birth bungle