Settlement of Child Brain Injury Claim Approved in High Court

A settlement of a child brain injury claim for compensation amounting to £7.3 million has been approved at the High Court in London by Mr Justice Tugendhat.

The settlement related to a claim made by Robbie Crane (13) of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, who in October 1999 underwent surgery when only three days old to correct a transposition of the great arteries – a rare birth condition in which the major arteries going into the heart have developed the wrong way round.

Despite the complicated surgery being successful, Robbie suffered brain damage during the 15-hour period after his operation because a ventilator keeping him alive had not been adjusted properly.

Because of the alleged medical negligence, Robbie suffered brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, behavioural problems and epilepsy. Robbie has no sense of danger, will never be able to lead an independent life and required constant supervision at all times.

After seeking legal advice, Robbie´s parents – Catherine and Barry – made a child NHS brain injury claim for compensation against the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, claiming that Robbie´s condition was a direct result of medical negligence.

The NHS Trust denied that they were liable for Robbie´s injuries, but in October 2011 agreed to an out-of-court settlement amounting to 70 percent of how much the High Court assessed Robbie would need to provide care for the rest of his life.

Mr Justice Tugendhat at the High Court in London heard that, with Robbie´s anticipated life expectancy, the sum of £7.3 million would enable a lump sum to be paid to the family immediately and provide for index-linked and tax-free payments to be paid annually.

After hearing the details of the case, Mr Justice Tugendhat approved the settlement of the child NHS brain injury claim and paid tribute to Robbie´s parents for devoting the last thirteen years to his well-being.