Switalkis Solicitors has secured the largest ever compensation figure for a man who was left with cerebral palsy as a result of negligence during his birth.
The man, known as JR who cannot be named for legal reasons, was awarded a lump sum of almost £8 million and annual tax free payments of just over £293,000 for life. Over JR’s lifetime the damages award will be at least £23.5 million.
Janet Baker, who is head of Switalskis’ clinical negligence department in Sheffield and a specialist in birth injury and cerebral palsy claims secured the compensation for JR with the help of her team.
JR has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. He is unable to walk and has limited use of his hands and an intellectual impairment. He can speak and make himself understood and can feed himself but is completely dependent on other people for most aspects of daily living which we take for granted.
The trial judge Mr Justice Davis said of JR: “he is described by all who have had dealing with him as a delightful young man with an outgoing personality and many interests”. JR’s interests include wheelchair football, spectator sports and travel.
Lawyers representing Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have accepted that the decision by the medical team at Jessops Hospital not to deliver JR by Caesarean section when he was premature at only 29 weeks and in the breech position, was negligent.
Janet Baker said: “JR is an engaging, funny and remarkable young man. In the time that I have acted for him I have never ceased to be amazed by his sheer determination to overcome his disability and lead as normal a life as possible. I am delighted to have helped him to achieve his potential and enjoy life to the full. I know that his family are very relieved that the litigation is over and that JR will have financial security for the rest of his life.”