Published in Lawtel January 2020
Total Damages: £4,400,000 (£4,400,000 RPI) plus periodical payments
PSLA: £160,000 (£160,000 RPI)
Trial/settlement date: 15/11/2019
Judge: Freedman J
Type of Award: Out of Court Settlement (approved)
Court: Out of Court Settlement (Approved) (QBD)
Age at trial: 15
Age at injury: Newborn
The claimant, a 15-year-old girl, received a lump sum of £4,400,000 and annual periodical payments of £40,000 until she was aged 21, £50,000 until she was aged 29, £80,000 per annum to age 35 and £60,000 per annum thereafter, for care and management, for the brain injury she sustained following her birth in 2005. She suffered dyskinetic cerebral palsy affecting her motor skills and speech and she experienced mild sensorineural hearing loss.
Clinical Negligence: The claimant (C), female, newborn at date of the accident and 15 at the date of the settlement, sustained injuries when, in 2005, she was born at a hospital of the defendant trust (D). Following her birth, she suffered from jaundice which was not detected and treated. The serum bilirubin levels increased which caused her to suffer severe brain injury. As a result, she developed dyskinetic choreoathetoid cerebral palsy.
C suffered brain injury and later brought an action against D alleging that it was negligent in failing to recognise clinically detectable jaundice without delay. C alleged that, as a result of the negligence, the serum bilirubin reached damaging levels. D admitted liability.
C suffered severe brain injury resulting in dyskinetic choreoathetoid cerebral palsy which affected all four limbs. She experienced associated gross and fine motor problems, difficulties with speech and communication and executive function and mild sensorineural hearing loss. She would need a flexible package of care and case management; support at home and at school, assistance when she became tired and additional help when (as was likely) she had children.
Out of Court Settlement (Approved): £4,400,000 lump sum and annual periodical payments of £40,000 until she was aged 21, £50,000 until she was aged 29, £80,000 per annum to age 35 and £60,000 per annum thereafter for care and case management.
The case was settled on a global basis with no particular breakdown of damages. However, the following breakdown was estimated by the claimant’s solicitors:
Breakdown of General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £160,000; Miscellaneous future costs including loss of earnings and pension, and equipment, therapy and deputyship costs: £3,850,000.
Breakdown of Special Damages: Miscellaneous past costs including for care, therapy, deputyship and accommodation: £390,000.
Background to damages: The periodical payments were to be index linked to ASHE 80th percentile from 15 December 2019.
Total injury duration: permanent
Simon Readhead QC instructed by Express Solicitors Ltd (Manchester) for the claimant. Alex Hutton QC instructed by Capsticks Solicitors LLP for the defendant.
This Quantum Report was provided courtesy of Ben Gent of Express Solicitors Ltd, solicitor for the claimant.
Document No. AM0203593