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£8million payout after 7-year legal battle for brain damaged baby

Posted in: Birth Injury Head and Brain Injuries Medical Negligence 

The family of a seven-year-old boy who suffered serious brain damage as a baby have finally won compensation following a 7-year legal battle. The child, who remains anonymous, contracted jaundice as a baby. Medical staff at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust in south-east London, however, failed to recognise the symptoms, allowing it to spread and develop into the rare illness kernicterus.

Kernicterus is an illness that affects less than one in every 100,000 babies in Britain, caused by untreated jaundice. It can cause severe brain damage, and even death. It was ruled at the High Court that the child could have lived a health and happy life had his jaundice been treated early on, instead he now faces a life with severe brain damage. He will require around the clock care for the rest of his life.

“unqualified apology”

John Witting QC, for the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, offered the family an “unqualified apology” and said: “no amount of money can give back what has been taken from him”.

It is the child’s grandmother that provides the boy with 24/7 care, with Martin Spencer QC, for the family, saying: “nobody could have done more for their grandson than she has done”.

The family are to receive a lump sum of £3.15million and index-linked annual payments starting at £235,000 and rising to £300,000 over the years, amounting to the total package of around £8million. The damages will greatly cover the boy’s housing needs, therapeutic and educational needs, and care provisions.

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