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£7m payout for man brain damaged at birth


2 April, 2008  

A young man who suffered severe brain damage at birth 24 years ago settled a medical negligence claim for more than £7m.

Nicky Smith, of Milton Keynes, Bucks, was at the High Court in London with his “devoted” parents Mark and Susan to hear a judge give her approval to an agreement that he should receive a lump sum of £2.5 million and annual payments of £170,000 for the rest of his life.

The compensation for Mr Smith, who was born at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital in February 1984, is equivalent to an award in excess of £7m.

His claim against the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust was that he suffered a severe brain injury as a consequence of a failure to appropriately treat an infection at the time of his birth.

The judge, announcing that she had “no hesitation” in approving the settlement, said no one could read the papers in the case “without feeling overwhelming admiration for the devotion of the parents throughout Nicky’s 24 years”.

After the hearing his solicitor, Sue Jarvis, clinical negligence partner at Blake Lapthorn Tarlo Lyons in Oxford, said: “This is an excellent settlement for Nicky because not only will he and his family have the reassurance of annual payments to pay for his care for the rest of his life.”

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Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust