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Disabled Teenager Receives £100,000 Following Inappropriate Restraint

Lightning can, sadly, strike the same individual twice, with the result that those who are already intensely vulnerable have their plight worsened by the negligence of others. That point was demonstrated by the case of a disabled teenager who suffered a ruptured spleen when he was inappropriately restrained at school.

The boy suffers from a number of learning, functional and neurological difficulties, including severe autism. He was visiting the special school when he was subjected to inappropriate physical restraint. His spleen was severely damaged and later had to be surgically removed. As a result, he will require prophylactic medication for the rest of his life. He also suffered psychological effects in that he had a clear memory of the traumatic incident.

After a personal injury claim was launched on his behalf, the school made a full admission of liability. Quantifying his claim was, however, complicated by the fact that he lacked the mental capacity to make decisions for himself even before the incident and was, in any event, very likely to spend the rest of his life in publicly funded care. Despite those difficulties, however, a £100,000 lump-sum settlement of his claim was negotiated.

The High Court had no hesitation in approving the settlement. The local authority that bore responsibility for his care had agreed to step in to act as his legal deputy and to manage the money for his benefit. The Court hoped that the settlement would make a considerable difference to his life and bring him real happiness.

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