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Watford Hospital faces £1million settlement.

 Published on: 7th March 2019   |   By: Court Reporter   |   Category: Uncategorized

A person who was born severely disabled at Watford General Hospital will receive £1million in NHS compensation.

A court heard that this is only a small fraction of the money that will be needed to fund the lifetime of round-the-clock care they need.

The person, who cannot be named for legal reasons, began suffering convulsions within an hour of their birth.

Mr Justice Stewart told London’s High Court that they probably suffered oxygen starvation and early scans showed extensive damage to their brain.

Stricken by severe cerebral palsy, they cannot speak, suffers from epilepsy and has to be fed through a tube.

Lawyers on their behalf sued the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, claiming their birth was negligently delayed.

Their legal team, headed by Richard Cartwright QC, argued that they would have escaped serious injury had they been delivered just 12 minutes earlier.

But, in what the judge described as a “complex and very difficult case”, the trust denied any blame for their injuries.

NHS lawyers argued that all reasonable care had been taken by medics and an earlier delivery would have made no difference to the outcome.

Following negotiations, the judge said a £1million settlement of the claim had been agreed.

That was on the basis that, had the case gone to trial, they would have come away with nothing had the trust’s defence succeeded.

Given the extent of their care needs, the payout represents only about 10 to 15 per cent of the full value of the claim, he added.

John Whitting QC, for the trust, reiterated that liability for the injuries was “firmly in dispute.”

However, there was no doubt about the profound disabilities and the barrister praised the “quite exceptional” care give to them by the family.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Stewart told the family: “I hope you have the best possible life.”

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