Sunderland Royal Hospital in £5million payout to disabled boy

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A LITTLE boy has won a £5million payout after suffering oxygen starvation during his birth at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The six-year-old, who cannot be named due to his extreme vulnerability, was born acutely brain damaged at the hospital and is stricken by epilepsy and severe communication problems.

London’s High Court heard he has been brought up by his “selfless” parents with “extraordinary devotion” and is a happy, smiling youngster despite his devastating disabilities.

Through his mother, the boy sued the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, which has now agreed to a multimillion-pound settlement of his case on the basis of 70 per cent liability.

Barrister Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel, QC, said that, on top of a lump sum of about £1.5m, the boy will receive annual index-linked tax- free payments to cover the enormous costs of the care he will need for the rest of his life.

Those payments will start at about £60,000 until he is aged nine, before rising to £80,000 and then going up again to £105,000 on his 17th birthday. His lawyers emphasised that every penny will be needed to fund his care.

The total settlement is valued at almost £5m.

Approving the deal, Mr Justice Spencer said the boy’s mother had continued to care for him despite herself suffering “a debilitating illness”.

He told the court: “I should like to pay tribute to the quite exceptional devotion shown to this little boy by both his parents. Their selfless and loving care for him is a testament to parenthood.

“He is clearly a lovely little boy who is fortunate to have the parents he does”.

A spokesman for City Hospitals Sunderland said: “The Trust wishes to extend it’s apologies once again to the claimant and his family for the care that was provided at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“The Trust would like to take this opportunity to wish the claimant and his family best wishes for the future.”

The court heard that, using part of the damages, the family has recently bought a new home which is currently being specially adapted for the boy’s needs.