Brain-damaged six-year-old boy gets multi-billion naira compensation


A six-year-old boy has been awarded a record £37m from the National Health Service in compensation, after contracting a virus in hospital which led to “catastrophic” brain damage.

The boy contracted the Herpes Simplex virus which later developed into a devastating brain fever following his birth at Watford General Hospital, London’s High Court heard.

The hospital did not detect the infection quickly enough, citing a two-day treatment delay which resulted in “catastrophic damage to his brain,” the boy’s barrister Henry Witcomb QC said.The boy, who cannot be identified, suffers from eyesight and communication problems, cognitive and movement difficulties as well as behavioural issues.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust had previously apologised and agreed to settle his case.

The boy’s solicitor said the payout was the “highest award ever” in a clinical negligence case against the NHS.

“The effects of the negligence have been tragic both for the boy and his family,” Mrs. Justice Lambert said.

She told the court the Trust admitted liability for what happened to the boy at an early stage.

The boy will now receive the lump sum payout in addition to annual, index linked and tax free payments to cover the costs of the 24-hour care he will need for life.

Mr. Witcomb said the value of the settlement, calculated over the boy’s lifetime, comes to more than £37m.The trust’s barrister, John Whitting QC, said: “The care which he received was not of an appropriate standard and for that, we are acutely sorry.”