A veteran judge praised a mother for showing him the brighter side of human nature as he approved a £4 million compensation payout to her teenage son, who was left facing a lifetime of acute disability as a result of oxygen starvation during his birth.
The 15-year-old suffered severe physical and mental disabilities due to an allegedly negligent delay in his hospital delivery. Although his life was blighted by cerebral palsy and mobility difficulties, he had made exceptional progress thanks to his mother’s support and was described as a ‘happy boy who loves school’.
The NHS trust which bore responsibility for the hospital where he was born agreed to a settlement of the case on the basis of 75 per cent liability. The deal consisted of a £1.7 million lump sum, plus annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of the boy’s care. Starting at £100,253, those payments would rise to £158,800 in 2017 and would continue for the rest of his life.
The judge, who often presided over harrowing criminal trials at the Old Bailey, said, “Day after day I see the darker side of human nature. However, in this case, I am delighted to see something of the opposite side. This boy was obviously terribly unfortunate in respect of the injuries that surrounded his birth but he has been very fortunate in his mother. I extend my admiration to all who care for this young man – but particularly to his mother. He is fortunate indeed to receive such care."