Jamie was diagnosed with congenital bilateral cataracts when he was four months old. He underwent surgery to treat the cataracts and restore his vision to a level of 6/60. The surgery failed and Jamie was left completely blind.
In addition to blindness, Jamie also suffers with severe developmental, intellectual and behavioural problems which means he requires a lot of care and special education.
Paul McNeil took over Jamie's case from a firm of solicitors in Liverpool who hadn't managed to settle the claim in 5 years. They had been instructed in 1994 and Paul McNeil took over the claim in 1999.
Shortly after we were instructed, the Health Authority accepted that the cataract surgery had not been performed to the required standard and that this negligent treatment had caused Jamie's blindness.
There was a substantial dispute as to the extent to which Jamie’s blindness could have caused or at least materially contributed to his other severely disabling problems.
There is research which indicates that blindness in children can seriously impair their social and intellectual development, resulting behavioural and learning difficulties and can cause or contribute to autism from which Jamie has been thought to suffer.
At the time of our instructions, the defendant had paid into court the sum of £350,000.
In the short time available we managed to strengthen the case both on causation and quantum of damages.
Negotiations took place between the parties and on the 20 October 1999 Mrs Justice Hallett approved a settlement in the sum of £720,000 together with costs.
This money will ensure that all of Jamie's rehabilitation, treatment, education, care and accommodation needs are met.
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