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NHS Pays Out Millions to Teenager Accidentally Smothered as a Baby

Hospitals are inevitably the scene of frequent tragic events but, if patients suffer as a result of clinical negligence, it is only right that they should be compensated. In one case, a teenager who was two days old when he was accidentally smothered by his comatose mother received millions of pounds in damages.

The mother suffered from type 1 diabetes and was in the throes of an attack when she unwittingly rolled over onto her newborn baby. His brain was starved of oxygen as a result and he faces a lifetime of complete dependence on others for all his care needs. The NHS trust that managed the hospital where the incident occurred admitted that there was a negligent failure to manage the mother's diabetes.

After proceedings were launched, a settlement of the teenager's claim was negotiated whereby the trust agreed to pay him a lump sum of £6,604,630, together with annual index-linked payments to cover the costs of his care for life. They will start at £245,000 a year before rising to £315,000 a year in 2025.

He will also receive £24,000 a year, index-linked, to compensate him for his loss of earnings up to the age of 70 and will be entitled to return to court for further compensation if he develops symptomatic epilepsy. The High Court had no hesitation in approving the settlement and paid glowing tribute to the boy's parents for the exceptional care they had given him.

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