Blackwood man awarded £450,000 over birth errors
4:36pm Wednesday 23rd April 2014 in News
A MAN has been awarded £450,000 in compensation from a health board over his birth after a fortune teller told his mother he would "win a claim".
Jamie Lewis' mother had been ready to throw the towel in during a long running dispute with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board but decided to give the claim another go after visiting the psychic.
The board has apologised and admitted failing in the care provided during the birth.
Mr Lewis, of Blackwood, was left with a permanent disability following a complicated delivery 23 years ago.
He was born unable to use his left arm following errors made by doctors during his birth, a law firm said.
Law firm Fletcher's Solicitors said the 23-year-old had won a legal case after his mother's labour at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, 23 years ago.
His mother Cheryl Lewis-Thomas first decided to pursue a claim against a local health board when Jamie was four, after seeing him struggle through his childhood.
She said: "Jamie had a tough childhood growing up with no use in his arm.
"He was unable to play with other children, use his bicycle and the appearance of his arm also made him a target for bullying. I knew the way he was treated during the birth wasn't right and it wasn't any fault of his own."
Despite Jamie's disability, Mr Lewis said the first law firm she approached refused to take on the claim.
Expecting to get the same response from other law firms, Mrs Lewis-Thomas dropped the case until she visited a fortune teller a couple of years later.
She added: "I visited a psychic in Wales who told me that my son would win a claim and she could see us very happy. I thought we had nothing to lose so Jamie decided to give the claim another go."
She then approached Fletchers Solicitors, who took on the case and won a six-figure payout in February.
Acting solicitor in the case Emma Jordan said if the hospital had admitted the problem when it first occurred then the Mr Lewis' recovery would likely have been far better.
She added: "Unfortunately, it took over 20 years for Jamie and his mum to achieve justice for what happened. The compensation secured for Jamie takes into account the extent of the injuries he suffered and his future needs, and will allow him to enjoy an optimistic future with his wife and two children."
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said it accepted errors had been made and apologised for the "failing in care provided during the birth of Jamie Lewis".
A spokeswoman added: "Procedures have been reviewed and actions taken to improve care as a result of this case."