One good reason why parents of children who are the victims of hospital blunders should take legal advice is that they may not always be there to provide all the care their loved ones need. In a High Court case that considered this issue, lawyers representing a 16-year-old girl guaranteed that she will be well looked after for life by negotiating a settlement of her case against the NHS worth at least £12 million.
Prior to her birth, medical staff failed to notice warning signs that she was starved of oxygen. She suffered brain damage as a result and will always require a great deal of care and supervision. After a personal injury claim was made on her behalf, the NHS trust that ran the hospital admitted breach of duty and agreed to settle her case on the basis of 95 per cent liability.
The teenager will receive a £3,325,000 lump sum, plus annual index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of her care for life. Those payments will begin at £37,500 a year but will rise to £110,000 a year as her care needs increase in later life. The total capitalised value of the settlement is between £12 million and £15 million. In approving the compromise, the Court noted that it would bring great reassurance to the girl’s devoted parents.