On 1 May 2018 at the High Court, Sir Robert Francis approved a lump sum settlement and annual payments to a young girl, who had sought to pursue a Claim for damages arising out of an allegation that King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had provided her with substandard treatment, following her birth.
The nine-year-old was born at King's College Hospital with severe jaundice. It had been alleged that the clinicians had failed to respond effectively and that there had been an unacceptable delay in arranging a blood transfusion to treat her condition.
According to the Telegraph newspaper, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust accepted that there had been "shortcomings" in her care - and agreed to what is reported to be a near record settlement of her claim.
Alexander Hutton QC, acting on behalf of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are extremely sorry for those shortcomings and I am told that the trust has worked hard to ensure that this will not happen again in the future."
Legal representatives for the girl explained that their evidence was that, had medics swiftly carried out a total blood transfusion, she would have escaped permanent injury.
The girl's barrister, Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, has said that King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had accepted 85 per cent liability for her injuries.
Miss Gumbel told the court that had the trust accepted 100 per cent liability for her injuries, the award's total value would have topped £22 million.
To support her for the rest of her life, the injured girl will receive a £6.8m lump sum, plus annual, index-linked, payments starting at £130,000, rising to £174,250 in 2020 and rising again, in 2028, to £228,000.
The presiding Judge, Sir Robert said: ‘This is very near to the top end of the scale for a brain injury.’
As the girl is expected to have a long life expectancy, the capitalised value of the settlement is £19,410,417.
Longden Walker and Renney’s Alison Ainsley, a specialist at acting on behalf of those who have suffered catastrophic injuries, said:
“One of the reasons that we are seeing increasingly high damages awards is due to The Lord Chancellor’s relatively recent decision to cut the discount rate (the rate used by courts to calculate the size of lump sum compensation payments for future needs) to a historic low of -0.75% from 20 March 2017.
This dramatically increased the potential size of all compensation awards for Claims that involve future losses.”
It is very important that a person who has suffered injury gets expert legal advice, as soon as possible.
If you want advice about pursuing a Claim for compensation and rehabilitation support, please do not hesitate to contact us for a No Obligation, Free Consultation.
Any claim for compensation will need to take into account pain, suffering and loss of amenity together with any past and future financial loss and expense including earnings, rehabilitation and treatment costs, nursing care, disability equipment and the cost of adaptations to meet the injured person’s housing requirements.
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