The High Court has praised the dedication and professionalism of lawyers after they achieved a settlement of a little boy's clinical negligence claim. The boy sustained injuries of near-maximum severity at or around the time of his birth and the settlement had a capitalised value in excess of £18 million.
It was alleged that recordings of his foetal heart rate during the latter stages of his mother's labour did not reflect his serious condition at birth. There was an issue as to whether the monitoring equipment was in working order. The NHS trust that bore responsibility for his care disputed liability but, following negotiations, agreed to pay 80 per cent of the full value of his claim.
Under the terms of the settlement, the trust agreed to pay a lump sum of £6,750,000, together with guaranteed, index-linked payments towards the costs of his care for life. Those payments will be set at £180,000 a year until he reaches the age of 19, rising thereafter to £277,000 a year. His parents have given up their professional employment to devote themselves to his care and will receive £170,035 of the settlement total as some modest reflection of their expenses and the care that they have lavished upon him.
In addressing the Court, his mother paid tribute to the phenomenal support provided by the family's legal team and expressed relief that it had been possible to reach agreement without the need for a contested trial. She hoped that all her son's care needs would henceforth be met and that the family could now move on with their lives.
Approving the settlement, the Court noted that the boy seemed a delightful child and congratulated his parents and grandparents for all that they had done for him. The compromise arrived at was a product of the hard work and professionalism of both sides.