JxMx is a young girl who was left severely brain damaged as a result of negligent treatment at the time of her birth at the Darent Valley Hospital. She suffers from four limbed cerebral palsy and will requires 24/7 care for the rest of her life as well as specialist equipment and suitable housing.
JxMx's case settled in December 2013 following an infant approval hearing at the High Court. During the approval hearing, anonymity was sought for JxMx, so that she could live the rest of her life without the threat of unwanted attention and harassment following the receipt of a settlement in excess of £10,000,000
Anonymity was refused but permission to appeal was granted, with anonymity temporarily provided until such time as the appeal had been concluded.
It is hoped that the hearing on 03 December will provide much needed clarity to an area of law that has significant importance to Claimants in personal injury and clinical negligence litigation across the country. Currently there are varying practices across the various Courts in the UK and it is somewhat of a lottery as to whether a Claimant will be awarded anonymity either during the course of the litigation or at the conclusion of the case, typically at an approval hearing.
Submissions have been provided on behalf of JxMx, on behalf of the Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA), who support the right for anonymity, as well as from the Press Association and a Friend of the Court. Oral submissions will be heard on behalf of JxMx, from PIBA, and from the Friend of the Court.
Solicitor Mark Bowman commented
"This is a case of paramount importance, not only to JxMx and the family, but also to Claimants across the UK. The submissions made on behalf of my client make it clear that preventing anonymity in this case might have severe consequences for JxMx as well as the family. On the other hand, preventing the publication of her name from any reporting of the claim has little or no impact on the notion of open justice and public interest as a full and detailed report can still be given, making it clear that as a result of negligent medical treatment provided at the Defendant Hospital, a substantial sum of money was paid out to an injured child. It is hoped that the Court of Appeal will provide guidance so that future Claimants have the right to anonymity in such circumstances."
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