The High Court in London has approved a settlement of compensation for brain damage at birth in favour of a seven-year-old boy from Crawley in West Sussex.
Thomas Hord was born at the East Surrey Hospital in March 2009 by emergency Caesarean section having been deprived of oxygen in the womb for twenty minutes. As a result of the hospital´s failure to effect his delivery in a timely manner after identifying foetal distress, Thomas now suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and can only communicate with his eyes.
Despite his debilitating birth injury, Thomas attends a mainstream primary school and lives at home with his parents – Christopher and Samantha – who have three other children.
On their son´s behalf, Christopher and Samantha claimed compensation for a brain injury at birth against Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS trust. Liability for Thomas´ injuries was admitted in 2011, and a settlement of compensation was negotiated that includes a £2.5 million lump sum and annual, index-linked starting at £100,000 and rising to £245,000 when Thomas becomes an adult.
At the hearing to approve the settlement, Mr Justice Warby heard Michael Wilson – the Chief Executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust apologise for the errors in Thomas´ care and “the difficulties caused for him and his family”. Margaret Bowron – QC for the NHS Trust – praised Christopher and Samantha for all they had done for Thomas since his birth.
Approving the settlement of compensation for brain damage at birth, Mr Justice Warby echoed the QC´s words. He said: “I would like to express my admiration for the parents’ work and devotion to the care of their son, particularly in light of the pressures of work and family matters, that have no doubt made it even more difficult. The court wishes the family the very best for the future.”