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Wheelchair Football Player Wins Record NHS Damages Award

The costs of professional care can be enormous and that is why awards for clinical negligence routinely run well into seven figures. In one case, a young man who was left catastrophically disabled as a result of negligence during his birth won a compensation package that will be worth well in excess of £20 million over his lifetime. The award is believed to be the largest ever made by a judge in such a case.

The NHS accepted that his premature birth had been negligently managed. Doctors had wrongly decided on a conventional birth rather than delivering him by Caesarean section. Confined to a wheelchair, he is only able to make limited use of his hands and his intellect is also to some extent impaired by the brain damage he suffered.

He can speak well enough to make himself understood and can feed himself, but he is wholly dependent on others for most aspects of his daily living. He requires around-the-clock care and is expected to live into his 70s. Aged in his 20s, he was described as a delightful young man with an outgoing personality and many interests. Leading an extraordinarily active life, he is a wheelchair football player of some distinction and has done well academically.

Following a trial, the High Court ordered the relevant NHS trust to pay him a lump sum of £7,928,140. He will also receive tax-free and index-linked annual payments of £293,117 to pay for his care for the rest of his life. The award included £300,000 for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity, almost £1.2 million for lost earnings and over £2.6 million in respect of travel, transport and equipment costs.

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