Costs of Care and Longer Lives Justify Big Clinical Negligence Award

The amount of money awarded in some clinical negligence claims can seem disproportionate to most people, but the following High Court case dispels this theory by demonstrating that people are living longer and care costs are ever rising.

A nine year old girl had suffered brain damage at birth due to the failure of a providing a blood transfusion in sufficient time after she developed jaundice. The damage is so severe she will need care and help throughout her life.

Although not too physically disabled as many are who have had difficulties at birth, her cognitive function is significantly impaired and there are behavioural difficulties as a result. She also has a long life expectancy. The NHS Trust accepted an 85% liability and acknowledged that her care had been lacking.

The agreement was a settlement of £6.8 million as a lump sum and further payments annually that would be index linked and tax-free to pay the costs of care for life. Initially, £130,000 would be paid annually and then increasing gradually to £228,000 by 2028, by which time the girl would be coming up to 20. The overall total came to £19,410,417.

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