£3.2m settlement for child diagnosed with epilepsy

The claimant suffered a severe brain injury at birth including epilepsy. The claimant also suffered permanent symptoms and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He had significant learning problems. He had difficulties using his left arm. He had the mental age of a child of 6. He could not walk without using a frame.

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Case details

Liability

The Health Authority concerned did not dispute that medical mistakes had been made at child birth which resulted in the injuries being caused to the claimant.

Injuries and Progress

The claimant's injuries were significant. They were caused in child birth because of a lack of oxygen to the claimant's brain. This was caused by the negligence of the defendants.

In the main the claimant used a wheel chair to get around. He could use a frame but it was quicker by wheel chair. The claimant was left with behavioural problems, epilepsy, a mental age of just 6 years. At the time of settlement the claimant was aged 21. He suffered outbursts of a violent nature. He could feed himself and use the toilet. He lived in accommodation with assistance from carers. He would never be able to live alone without care. His mobility was impaired and he only had partial use of his left arm.

The claimant continued to receive therapy and assistance to try improve his situation. His symptoms however were permanent.

Compensation and Settlement

Negotiations were entered into between the claimant's solicitors and the NHS Health Authority. A settlement was eventually agreed in the region of £3,200,000. This was an overall settlement which included approximately £250,000.00 for the claimant's pain suffering and loss of amenity. The reminder of the settlement related to the claimant's past and future care, as well as accommodation requirements.

In view of the claimant's mental capacity court approval of any settlement agreed was required. A court had to approve the settlement agreed to protect the claimant's position. The court approved settlement when the claimant was aged 21 years. The settlement would be placed with the court to administer. The Court of Protection appointed a Deputy to administer the settlement on the claimant's behalf. This allowed for monies to be withdrawn when required to cover the cost of care and therapeutic treatment.

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher