HHD Solicitors Achieve Landmark Medical Negligence Settlement

8 December 2014

HHD Solicitors are delighted to announce the settlement of a medical negligence case brought on behalf of a client against Belfast Trust in the High Court in Belfast on 8 December 2014, in what is the largest settlement of this kind, for a personal injury case, ever made in Northern Ireland, for a record figure of £8 million.

The case of KD, a minor, was brought against the Belfast Trust after the child was left quadriplegic, with cerebral palsy and requiring round the clock specialist medical care following complications from medical treatment as an infant. The child, now a teenager, has limited use of his limbs and limited cognitive function.

The case was initially contested by the Trust, before it admitted liability at the outset of the hearing. The medical negligence team at Higgins Hollywood Deazley prepared the detailed case for settlement with the use of medical, financial and technological experts to provide the evidence to establish the need for his on going care, treatment, together with the future provision of advances therapies and assistive technology. Leading UK statistician and tax experts were also consulted for the indexing of care costs going into the future and advice on financial planning.

Damian Deazley, Partner of the firm "We have worked very closely with KD and his family over several years in the preparation of this claim. His condition is so severe and his medical needs are so specialist that we are confident that this settlement will meet not only his financial needs, but more importantly, his physical, emotional and developmental needs for his lifetime. It is a huge relief for his family to know that his long term financial and medical requirements will now be looked after.

"With this settlement, we have been able to secure support for this young man which makes best use of the modern technology which is now available for those with limited mobility and cognitive ability. For example, his future home will be adapted to accommodate a "smart wheelchair" which runs along tracks laid under the floor. His care package will include, among other things, occupational therapy, music therapy, speech & language therapy, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy from a specialist trained team. Our experts believe that the intensive expert therapy and use of technology will add greatly to his development and quality of life into adulthood."

It is important to highlight that this landmark personal injury case was funded by Legal Aid. As the settlement includes the claimant's legal costs being paid by the Trust, this will not cost Legal Aid a penny. Without the availability of Legal Aid, our client would not have been able to bring this case and his quality of life would have remained extremely limited. This case is a significant example for the argument in favour of retaining civil Legal Aid for personal injury claims.








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