Paul McNeil has successfully settled a claim on behalf of a six-year-old boy who contracted the herpes simplex virus at Watford General Hospital in 2012, which led to brain fever.
The failure of the paediatric team at the hospital to treat the virus appropriately, including administering antiviral drugs immediately following diagnosis, caused catastrophic brain injury. The boy now faces significant cognitive, behavioural and communication difficulties and has autism and visual impairment.
During more than four years' work by Paul's team, including investigating the events of the birth and collecting extensive expert medical reports about the child's current and future needs, the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability and agreed settlement with the family.
At the approval hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice in October 2018, Mrs Justice Lambert said she was pleased West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust had admitted liability and agreed to settle his case. She approved the settlement of £37m put forward by Paul and Henry Witcomb QC.
'The effects of the negligence have been tragic both for the boy and his family,' Mrs Justice Lambert said.
Paul McNeil acknowledged that this is likely the highest award made in a clinical negligence case but said the focus should be on preventing such tragedies ever happening again.
'No amount of compensation will allow them to live a normal life but the settlement will ultimately enable them to access funds to pay for vital care, education and therapies to help their child live the best possible life,' Paul said.
The chief executive of the trust apologised to the boy's family in a letter sent in May 2017. He said lessons had been learnt and steps taken to ensure 'nothing similar will ever happen again'.
The boy's parents said the settlement takes away 'one major source of pressure on us as a family'.
In an email to Paul, they thanked the team for their 'dedication, drive, flexibility, responsiveness and thoughtfulness' which they said 'have shone through, especially at difficult times for us. Simply first class'. They asked that Paul look back on this case 'with some pride for what you achieved'.
Photo credit: By Dormskirk [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons
- You can speak to our medical negligence solicitors on freephone 0800 358 3848
- e-Mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Complete the short enquiry form
All enquiries are completely free of charge and they will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Fieldfisher has successfully been recognised as an "Occupation and Asbestos Disease Specialists" Fieldfisher are now recognised as assessors
Charities we support
Personal injury team celebrates social hub for amputees and their families
Fieldfisher hosted the first informal central London meeting hub organised for amputees and their families in association with the Limbless Association (LA)
Further criticism of sub-standard care at Basildon Hospital following death of new-born
At the inquest into the death of a baby boy at Basildon Hospital last year, the coroner concluded that serious failings by staff contributed to the baby's death at one day old.
Jane Weakley welcomes CYRIL technology to test new-borns at risk of cerebral palsy
Researchers at University College London (UCL) have developed a non-invasive monitoring system, small enough to take into neonatal intensive care units, which shines infrared light into new-born babies' brains to detect possible brain damage within a few hours of birth.
Claire Horton comments on Countess of Chester hospital nurse arrest
Claire Horton comments on the distressing case of Lucy Letby, the nurse accused of murdering and attempting to murder babies and infants in the neo-natal unit of the Countess of Chester hospital between 2015 and 2016.
Simple scan to identify breech babies supported by partner Jane Weakley and senior midwife Charlene Francois
Proposals for coroners to investigate late-term stillbirths would provide relief to grieving families