JUDGES have approved a multi-million out-of-court settlement after a baby born in a Whitehaven hospital 32 years ago suffered a catastrophic brain injury.

Lawyers for the claimant’s family say the injury should have been prevented by the medical staff involved. NHS lawyers have not accepted liability.

But High Court judges this week approved the settlement after a “virtual” hearing.

The court was told that the claimant - whose identify is protected by law - was failed by the hospital “before, during and just after” the birth in 1988.

As a result of the injury sustained, the person now must live with cerebral palsy and learning difficulties.

Representing the family, birth injury solicitor Diane Rostron said: “This was a complex case not least due to the fact that the incident took place more than 30 years ago and medical records could not be found.

“We are pleased to have reached a sensible agreement with the defendant, avoiding a trial and further trauma for the family.

“Our client needs care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Had the warning signs in the final weeks of pregnancy been detected, and a caesarean section carried out 24 hours sooner, we believe that all serious injury would have been avoided.”

In a statement, the parents - who have now left the area - said: ““The impact of the incident on the entire family has been profound. Our fight for justice means that we can now provide the care our child, who is now an adult but functioning at the age of around three years old, needs for the rest of their life.”

The Secretary of State, who was legally responsible for the hospital and its staff at the time, denied the allegations of negligence.

Following the settlement, the legal team will now assess the claim’s value - estimated to be in excess of £15m.

The West Cumberland Hospital is now run by an NHS trust which did not exist when the claimant sustained the birth injury. Officials there declined to comment, saying they had not been a party to the proceedings.