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01.10.18

NHS pays out record £20m compensation for brain-injured teenager

An 18-year-old woman has been awarded £20m by the NHS in compensation for brain injuries suffered as a baby.

The girl, who cannot be named, was awarded £2.1m as a lump sum and annual payments of £203,000 for the rest of her life after a judge ruled that doctors failed to adequately ventilate her before a respiratory arrest due to oxygen starvation in February 2000.

The estimated total settlement is valued at £19,774,265, making it potentially the largest compensation pay-out in NHS history. The high figure reflects the severity of her injuries and the lifetime costs of receiving 24-hour care.

The settlement was announced by Justice Robert Harrison at the High Court in Cardiff, against the Cardiff and Vale University health board.

Yvonne Agnew, head of clinical negligence at Slater and Gordon in Cardiff, said: “This is a tragic case of a little girl, with her whole life ahead of her, having her future snatched away from her through no fault of her own.

“We have had to fight for years to get justice for our client and to get the trust to admit their failings.”

She added: “I am pleased that the girl will be able to get the care she needs and hope that lessons are learned from this case to ensure this never happens again.”

Papers reported that the mother of the girl, who has cared for her since the treatment, said: “I had my daughter snatched away from me. From that moment she changed forever.

“She is mobile but doesn’t really know what is going on. I went from having a healthy baby to a seriously disabled child through no fault of our own. That said, I wouldn’t change her for the world and don’t love her any differently.”

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Image credit - georgeclerk

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