Essex

Disabled woman wins £4m damages in Essex hospital claim

A woman with severe cerebral palsy has been awarded a £4m compensation package in an agreement with an Essex hospital.

The family of the 18-year-old, who cannot be identified, brought High Court proceedings over her birth at Rochford Hospital in September 1992.

Counsel, Margaret Bowron QC, told Mr Justice Kenneth Parker that the teenager had "serious disabilities".

Southend University Hospital Trust responded and settled the claim quickly winning plaudits from the court.

The woman needs a wheelchair, lacks meaningful speech, has learning difficulties and will need full-time care for life, the judge heard.

Ms Bowron said that she wanted to put on record the "extraordinary efforts" of the teenager's mother.

She had given up her life to bringing up her daughter with the support of the girl's elder brother.

Fair and reasonable

"She is now welcoming assistance and has found a house to move into.

"So we are hoping that within a few months they will have a new home, a care package in place and the future will be as rosy as it can be in these difficult circumstances."

Counsel said Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had behaved "impeccably" and approached the litigation, which was launched last year, with "speed, good sense and great sensitivity".

The judge approved the "fair and reasonable" agreed settlement.

A lump sum of £1.6m will be paid as well as annual payments starting at £140,000 and rising to £175,000 as the woman grows older.

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