A MASSIVE compensation settlement will be paid to a teenager facing a lifetime of disability due to alleged negligent delays during his mother’s labour.
The teen suffers from cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic after his brain was starved of oxygen during delivery at Sunderland District General Hospital.
Now a High Court judge has approved a compensation settlement from the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust to cover the costs of his care up until now and for the rest of his life.
As the boy – whose identity is protected by a court order – is now in care and lives with foster parents, his case was taken up by the Official Solicitor.
David Heaton QC, for the 16-year-old, told the court that delays in his delivery had caused the devastating damage to his brain, leaving him with spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy. He cannot communicate and is visually impaired.
Mr Heaton said the youngster can walk using steel bars fitted at his home, but needs a wheelchair to go outside.
The teenager is totally dependent on others for his care, and will never be able to work.
The NHS trust agreed to settle the case on the basis of 60 per cent liability and, although the exact amount of the payout has been kept confidential, multimillion-pound payouts are the norm in cases of such severe injury and such great care needs.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Eady said: “I am satisfied this is in the best interests of the claimant and the order is appropriate. I give my approval and extend my best wishes to the claimant and his family for the future.”
The settlement takes the form of a lump sum and index-linked and tax-free annual payments to cover the teenager’s care costs for life.
Lawyers declined to disclose figures, but described the payout as a “substantial amount.”