Richard Earle has recovered a substantial sum in compensation on behalf of Matthew Ellerbeck, who sustained serious brain damage after contracting herpes at the age of six.

In 1997, Matthew suffered a prolonged convulsion, and was taken in an ambulance to the A&E department of the Royal London Hospital.

Herpes Simplex Encephalitis (HSE) should have been suspected, and aciclovir (an antiviral drug) should have been administered immediately.

However the drug was not given to Matthew until over 30 hours later. 

As a result of this delay, Matthew sustained serious brain damage. He is now 17, and as a result of the brain damage he suffers daily epileptic attacks and severe learning difficulties, as well as serious attention and behavioural problems. 

Matthew’s mother, Susan Culling, brought the case against Barts & the London NHS Trust on his behalf in the High Court. She instructed Richard Earle to pursue the accident and emergency claim against the hospital.

Following this long legal battle, Richard recovered substantial damages. This includes provision for periodical (annual) payments to be made for the rest of Matthew’s life to cover his care and accommodation needs.   


Matthew's mother said:

“I was determined to press on and seek justice for Matthew. I am very pleased at the level of compensation which will make a huge difference to Matthew’s life.”

Richard Earle said: “I am absolutely delighted that substantial damages have been recovered on Matthew’s behalf, in what was an extremely complex case on the medical evidence where both Matthew’s lawyers and medical team had worked extremely hard to overcome the Defendant’s arguments on causation. This will improve the quality of Matthew’s life and provide protection for the future.”

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