Beds, Herts & Bucks

£7.3m payout for brain-damaged boy from Hertfordshire

A boy from Hertfordshire who suffered brain damage after heart surgery in 1999 is to receive £7.3m compensation.

Robbie Crane, who is now 13, won an out-of-court settlement for a claim of alleged medical negligence against Harefield Hospital in Middlesex.

The Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust denied liability.

Robbie's parents said the settlement, which was given final approval on Wednesday, would allow the family to "plan for the future with confidence".

Their son was born with transposition of the great arteries.

He was admitted to Harefield Hospital for the defect to be corrected in October 1999, when he was a few days old.

The surgery was successful but a legal claim was brought relating to alleged negligent treatment during a period of ventilation afterwards.

'Challenging process'

Robbie, who now has cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, limited speech and behavioural problems including no sense of danger, will need specially-adapted accommodation and round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

In 2011, the High Court heard that settlement in the case had been reached with the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust on the basis that it would pay 70% of the full value of the claim.

On Wednesday, Mr Justice Tugendhat, approving the settlement, paid tribute to the devotion shown by Robbie's parents, Catherine and Barrie.

Neil Block QC, for the trust, said that although no admission was made as to breach of duty, he wished to apologise to the family and hoped that one huge worry had been lifted from their shoulders now Robbie was financially secure.

After the hearing in London, Mr and Mrs Crane said: "This brings to an end a long and challenging legal process but the daily care that Robbie requires will continue for the rest of his life.

"We were repeatedly told that there was no chance of securing compensation but our legal team urged us on and so it is a great relief to finally have it decided."

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