Medical negligence cases are often far from straightforward, but specialist lawyers are trained to achieve the best possible outcome for victims. In one case, a 10-year-old boy was guaranteed a seven-figure sum in compensation despite an NHS trust's continued denial of responsibility for injuries he suffered soon after his birth.
His case rested on the claim that midwives were negligent in ignoring his family's concerns that he was failing to feed properly during his first days of life. Those anxieties proved well founded and, when he was two days old, his blood sugar levels crashed. Swift action was taken, but it came too late to save him from brain damage. He is confined to a wheelchair and will require care for the rest of his life.
The trust that ran the hospital admitted breaches of duty in relation to the boy's post-natal care and issued a public apology to the family. However, it denied that this had been the cause of his injuries, claiming that they would have occurred in any event. However, a negotiated settlement was reached, whereby he will receive 75 per cent of the full value of his claim.
The amount of the boy's compensation has yet to be assessed, but is bound to be a seven-figure sum, even after a 25 per cent reduction. In approving the settlement as clearly in the boy's best interests, the High Court noted that the family had been well advised. The trust was ordered to make an interim payment of £250,000 in order to tide the boy and his family over pending calculation of his full award.