Jill Greenfield and Mark Bowman were instructed by the adoptive mother of a young boy ( X ) who had been abused, as a baby, by his birth parents.
At just a few weeks old, X was subjected to non-accidental physical abuse by his birth parents, resulting in him suffering severe brain damage, a burn behind one ear and two fractured legs. Our client was placed on the child protection register and was placed with his adoptive parents.
As this was an assault, a claim was made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA is a government scheme to compensate victims of crime such as this.
Over the initial 18 year period the family were provided with interim payments of just £22,000. In spite of the lack of support, our client's adoptive parents, and in particular his mother, selflessly cared for the child including schooling him at home.
The progress that X had made under the care of his adoptive mother was even more impressive in view of the contents of an MRI brain scan which revealed that 75% of the right side of the brain had been damaged. It was apparent that the plasticity of the brain for this young boy had allowed him to develop many life skills that confounded the medical experts. However there were clearly very many behavioural problems. At the time of our instruction in 2010 the family were reliant on DSS benefits. The home environment was unsuitable and the family were struggling significantly to deal with his behaviour.
The assault had occurred before 1992 and so before the CICA had a cap of £500,000. It was clear that the critical issue was to ensure that a proper care and rehabilitation regime was put in place in order to try to deal with some of the outbursts but also in order to let the client's mother to become more independent of her now adult son.
Upon instruction we were able to:
- Obtain an immediate interim payment of £50,000
- Rent more suitable accommodation for them to live in
- Employ a case manager
- Employ carers
- Obtain a full medical evaluation as to his future needs.
Reports were obtained from a number of experts including a neurologist, neuropsychologist and psychiatrist. The experts all agreed that as a result of the care provided by the client's adoptive mother our client had made amazing progress over the previous 20 years. As a result of the severity of the injuries sustained however, there was unlikely to be any further progress, and therefore our client would never be able to live independently. We were able to obtain a further interim payment of £1,000,000.
At a CICA hearing in July 2012 we were able to secure an award of over £5.5 million which will ensure that our client has a suitable care regime for life, that he can live in appropriate accommodation, and that his finances are suitably managed to ensure that he is looked after for life.
At the end of the claim, X's adoptive mother commented
"FFW not only helped us to get a significant payment, but they also supported us throughout the process, and helped us find skilled brain injury professionals who have been able to make a difference to my son's life."