Cerebral Palsy

Re A
This was a cerebral palsy claim brought on behalf of a young man who was aged 16 years at the date of final settlement.

Our client had a mild dyskinetic cerebral palsy which it was alleged had been caused by a 7-minute delay in delivery. He was fully and independently mobile and was largely self-caring at the time of settlement.

Proceedings were issued and served and the Defendant denied liability.

A split trial was ordered so that the issue of fault could be determined quickly and before the claim was fully quantified. This is often the way that cerebral palsy claims proceed.

The case was prepared for a trial on liability however this settled at a round table meeting prior to trial when the Defendant agreed to pay a percentage liability settlement at 85%. The Claimant could have proceeded to trial but we considered that the risk of losing justified accepting the reduced liability settlement.

The case was then quantified and settled on the basis of a lump sum of £1.9M and then yearly payments for life (periodical payments) of between £45,000.00 and £115,000.00 per year, increasing with age. If the Claimant lives to the age expected he will recover approximately £8.8m.

It was very important for the Claimant’s parents to ensure that he was fully provided for and protected later in life when they were not around to care for him. We were therefore instructed and encouraged by the parents to agree a relatively low periodical payment for the first few years in exchange for higher periodical payments in later life.

The settlement was approved by the Court (since our client was a minor at settlement but was not expected to be able to manage his affairs or such a large amount of damages once he reached 18) as being a very good result for the Claimant.