Litigation Personal Injury 24/06/97

Debenham v South West Surrey Health Authority – QBD 13 May 1997

Claimant: Simon Debenham, 12 years

Incident: Medical negligence

Injuries: Plaintiff suffered hypoxia during birth at Royal Surrey Hospital in January 1985 resulting in spastic quadriplegia, cerebral palsy and grave developmental problems. His condition was such that he did not breathe spontaneously for 30 minutes after birth and suffered a series of heart attacks. Health authority disputed claims, but agreed to settlement without any admission as to blame.

Award: £220,000 agreed damages

Judge: Mr Justice Clarke

Counsel for plaintiff: Robert Francis QC

Solicitors for Plaintiff: Bells, Kingston on Thames

Akpan v Walker – QBD 13 May 1997

Claimant: June Akpan, 5Incident: Road Traffic Accident

Injuries: Pedestrian knocked down on pedestrian crossing by uninsured driver. Suffered multiple broken bones and severe head injuries. She spent three weeks in intensive care and is now classed as legally incapable of managing her own affairs. Damages to be paid by Motor Insurers Bureau if the defendant fails to meet the payment.

Award: £330,000, agreed damages

Judge: Mr Justice Owen

Counsel for plaintiff: Mathias Kelly

Solicitors for Plaintiff: BM Birnberg & Co, London NW

Jones v Waltham Forest Health Authority – QBD 14 May 1997

Claimant: Madeleine Jones, 43

Incident: Medical negligence

Injuries: Plaintiff, an artist and potter, was left almost blind by acute diabetes. Alleged that proper medical treatment could have saved at least part of her sight. Defendant health authority said to have failed to keep her eyes shaded and properly lubricated after she was admitted in a diabetic coma. She has now been left unable to distinguish detail even though she can make out shapes and colours. Her career as an artist has been destroyed. The health authority agreed to the settlement, but made no admission of liability.

Award: £50,000 agreed damages

Judge: Mr Justice Hooper

Counsel for plaintiff: Edward Faulks QC

Solicitors for Plaintiff: Parlett Kent & Co, London EC1