Northampton hospital pays £9.7m to brain-damaged boy

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A family from Newcastle has spoken of their relief at being awarded a £9.7m payout for their brain-damaged son after a seven-year battle.

Lewis Merrigan was starved of oxygen when he was born at Northamptonshire General Hospital in 2002.

Lawyers argued staff failed to spot clear signs of foetal distress and that his birth was negligently delayed.

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust issued an apology and settled the case at the High Court on Wednesday.

The court heard Lewis has epileptic fits every day, he cannot walk, stand or sit unaided, and will be dependent on others for life.

Through his grandmother, Hilary Jones, he sued the NHS Trust and the settlement will be paid in a lump sum, along with annual, index-linked and tax-free payments.

Lewis has been cared for by his parents, Liz and Jason Merrigan, who lived in Daventry when Lewis was born.

They have since moved to Newcastle so the boy can attend the specialist Percy Hedley School.

Speaking outside the court after the settlement was approved Mr and Mrs Merrigan said: "We are relieved that the long legal fight has at last been brought to an end.

"The compensation can never, ever, reverse the damage and pain that Lewis suffered but it will at least ensure he will always have a safe and caring environment for the rest of his life.

"We couldn't have fought through this legal battle without the love and support of our extended families, especially Hilary Jones, Lewis's grandmother, who has acted as his advocate."

Mr Justice Eady said: "Lewis has been very fortunate in the devoted care he has received from his family for many years now.

"I hope that this settlement will bring peace of mind for all concerned."

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