Multi-million-pound payout for Bristol Royal Infirmary heart scandal victims

November 2, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Two victims whose lives were shattered by the infamous Bristol Royal Infirmary heart scandal have been handed multi-million-pound compensation payouts.

A 19-year-old was awarded £3.85million by a High Court judge after an operation carried out when he was a baby left him with severe brain damage, epilepsy, behavioural problems and autistic traits.

Lawyers who represented the teenager – known only as ‘B’ – said his life had been ”shattered” by the mistakes.

Another victim, a woman in her 20s and named only as ‘Miss P’, will receive an undisclosed sum for injuries she sustained.

The woman underwent open heart surgery to treat a congenital defect in March 1990 and was left severely disabled, with behavioural and cognitive difficulties, cerebral palsy and learning problems.

A High Court judge approved a settlement which finally brings an end to the pair’s lengthy fight for damages following the scandal, which rocked Britain.

An inquiry in the late 1990s found that dozens of babies had died unnecessarily, with between 30 and 35 deaths between 1990 and 1995, although subsequent probes have discovered as many as 170 might have been saved if they had been operated on elsewhere.

The hospital was accused of a culture of secrecy, neglect and cover-ups and over 200 wide-ranging recommendations were made

Speaking after Monday’s hearing, the mother of ‘Miss P’ said: ”We are naturally relieved this is all over and now we want to move on.

”Of course, nothing will bring back the daughter I had before her injury.”

Her solicitor, Laurence Vick, said the family had ”struggled on to support her as best they could” since she sustained tragic injuries which ruined her life.

The 19-year-old man was a baby admitted to Bristol Royal Infirmary in 1992 to correct a heart defect.

Mrs Justice Sharp approved a settlement that will see him receive a #1 million lump sum, with annual payments to cover his care for the rest of his life.

Mrs Justice Sharp said: ”I am quite satisfied that the settlement that has been reached is in the best interests of the claimant and I give it my whole endorsement.”

After the hearing, B’s mother said: ”I cannot tell you how relieved we are that we can put all this behind us.

”The settlement means that our son can lead a more fulfilled life.”

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