A multi-million pound settlement of compensation has been awarded to a seven year-old boy who sustained severe brain damage during his birth.
In March 2009 at the East Surrey Hospital, Thomas Hord was born with severe brain damage. This was the result of a twenty-minute delay in his birth by emergency Caesarean Section, during which time he was deprived of oxygen in utero. However, this delay was in spite of the fact that Thomas had already been diagnosed with foetal distress syndrome.
The brain damage caused life-changing disabilities in Thomas, who now lives with seven cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Additionally, he can only communicate with others using his eyes. In spite of these difficulties, Thomas lives at home with his three siblings and parents, Christopher and Samantha. He also attends a mainstream school.
Acting on behalf of their son, Christopher and Samantha sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for birth injury compensation against the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, who oversee the running of the East Surrey Hospital.
The Trust admitted liability for Thomas’ injuries in 2011, and proceeded to negotiate a settlement of compensation with the family. Eventually, Thomas was offered a compensation settlement that consisted of annual payments of £100,000 that would increase to £245,000 on his eighteenth birthday, as well as a £2.5 million lump sum.
The hearing then had to be approved by a judge as it was made on behalf of a minor. At London’s High Court, Mr Justice Warby oversaw proceedings, which involved the reading of an apology by Michael Wilson, the Chief Executive of the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. In the statement, Wilson apologised for the mismanagement of Thomas’ birth and “the difficulties caused for him and his family”. The QC for the trust, Margaret Bowron, commended Thomas’ parents for their dedication to their son since his birth.
After approving the cerebral palsy compensation settlement, Judge Warby expressed similar sentiment: “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.”