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Boy Victim of Neonatal Jaundice Awarded Millions in Recompense

Compensation awards to catastrophically injured negligence victims can appear eye-wateringly huge, but they are not a penny more than is needed to pay for a lifetime of care. That was certainly so in the case of a little boy who will always need professional help in every aspect of his daily life.

The boy was born in a healthy condition but developed jaundice after he and his mother were discharged from hospital. Despite a number of home visits by community midwives over the following few days, his condition deteriorated to the point where phototherapy treatment could not save him from permanent brain damage.

Suffering from cerebral palsy, his hearing and vision are impaired and his development delayed. Walking is a real struggle for him and he sustains frequent falls. His use of his upper limbs is also affected and he has difficulty feeding himself. Although a sociable boy, his speech is very difficult to understand. He will need extensive professional care throughout a life which experts estimate will stretch well into his 60s.

After action was taken on his behalf, the NHS trust that bore responsibility for his neonatal care swiftly made a full admission of liability. Following negotiations, a settlement of his claim was agreed whereby he will receive a £10.2 million lump sum together with annual, index-linked and tax-free sums to cover the costs of his care for the rest of his life.

Those payments will start at £145,000 a year and rise to £210,000 a year when he reaches the age of 19. As his condition is expected to deteriorate in middle age, they will go up again to £240,000 a year from the age of 50. The High Court approved the sensible settlement and praised the unstinting love given to the boy by his mother and wider family. The Court thanked both sides for their hard work in resolving a difficult and tragic case.