Counsel secure settlement for teenage boy affected by negligently untreated meningitis

Thu, 01 Aug 2019

Two counsel at No5 Barristers’ Chambers have secured a settlement for a teenage boy who sustained severe brain damage as an infant due to negligently untreated meningitis. 

Jonathan Jones QC and Henry Pitchers saw the case conclude with a settlement at the then capitalised value of £22 million.

The claimant, who cannot be named owing to an anonymity order, has been left with relatively modest physical problems, but catastrophic learning disabilities and dysexecutive difficulties.  He has extremely limited communication skills, intractable and unpredictable epilepsy and severely challenging behavioural issues. 

Jonathan Jones QC said: “The case was unusual because, at the claimant's request, the court listed as preliminary issues the assessment of care, case management and accommodation up to the claimant's 16th birthday.

“Such determination was required since the claimant's final care needs would not be known until he reached 16, but interim payments were required to fund his care, case management and accommodation.  These aspects of the claim were strongly contested by the defendant. Following the exchange of evidence, the parties compromised the preliminary issue and then set about quantifying the claim, resulting in this final settlement.

“The very substantial interim payments enabled the family to purchase and adapt a large house, suitable for his needs, and to implement a comprehensive 24-hour care package.”

The case settled a few months before a High Court trial and the settlement, which comprised of a lump sum together with periodical payments for care, case management and court of protection costs, received the approval of the court.

Haidee Vedy, of Alsters Kelley, who instructed Jonathan Jones QC and Henry Pitchers, said: “The family and their legal team have fought hard for many years to achieve this outcome.  The family can now have the peace of mind which comes from knowing that all of their son’s care and therapeutic requirements will be met for the rest of his life.”

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