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Boy Injured at Birth Receives Award Worth Over £20 Million

Damages awards in the most serious clinical negligence cases may seem very large, but they accurately reflect the ever-increasing cost of professional care and are pitched no higher than is absolutely necessary. In a case on point, a boy who will never be able to live independently due to injuries suffered during his birth received an award worth over £20 million.

The boy, who is now approaching his teens, sustained oxygen deprivation and brain damage during his traumatic delivery by ventouse extraction. He suffers from cerebral palsy as a result and will always be dependent on others for his daily needs. After action was taken on his behalf, the NHS trust that ran the hospital where he was born swiftly admitted liability for his injuries in full.

Following protracted negotiations, the trust agreed to a final settlement of his claim whereby he would receive a lump sum of £8,443,000, together with substantial, index-linked annual payments to cover the costs of his care for life. The settlement had an estimated capitalised value of £20,756,250.

Through its barrister, the trust stated that it was acutely aware that the tragedy arose from failings in care. Its chief executive had made an unreserved apology to the boy and his family for what happened and steps had been taken to ensure that similar incidents did not occur again. Despite the formidable challenges he faces, the boy has an engaging personality, a lovely sense of humour and real determination that will stand him in good stead in the future.

The High Court approved the settlement and paid tribute to the boy's parents for the unstinting love and care they have lavished upon him throughout his life.