Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cerebral palsy sufferer keeps NHS payout

A Leeds family are celebrating after winning an appeal court hearing brought by the NHS. The case in my view illustrates all that is wrong with the approach taken by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) when defending claims against the medical profession.

Nathan Popple was awarded compensation of £5.5m by the High Court after he suffered devastating brain injuries during his birth. Now 14, Nathan developed cerebral palsy and severe disabilities. He cannot speak and must be fed through a tube as he is unable to swallow. However our friends at the NHSLA appealed the decision, telling the Court of Appeal that the brain damage occurred “some time remote from delivery” in the last three days of the labour. At the appeal court rejected this argument tank goodness.

Nathan now lives with his mother Beryl Sanderson and her partner in the Cookridge area of Leeds and they claimed to have spent most of the last decade, firstly trying to get the compensation they felt they were owed from Birmingham Women’s Hospital, and then fighting to keep it in the light of the case going to the Court of Appeal. 

For all the negative press that lawyers receive for pursuing such claims, it is entirely appropriate that the NHSLA are brought to account for adopting such an aggressive and in the end futile defence to an already complex injury claim.

Living and working as I do in Leeds, I am very pleased that justice prevailed for this local family.

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