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PI and Civil Litigation

Law - practice - procedure

Anthony Gold Solicitors , 15 AUG 2014

Alanni Haynes (a child by her mother and litigation friend Nicola Spratt) v Kingston Hospital NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 2321 (QB)

Alanni Haynes (a child by her mother and litigation friend Nicola Spratt) v Kingston Hospital NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 2321 (QB)
Clinical Negligence – Birth Defects – Damages – Interim Payments – Accommodation

High Court, Queen’s Bench Division
11 July 2014
Richard Parkes QC

Summary
The claimant was left profoundly disabled at birth. Liability is not disputed and the matter is listed for trial in October 2014. The claimant sought an interim payment of £1.6m for specialist accommodation, in addition to £700,000 in interim payments already received. The court granted the application.

Detail

The claimant, aged 8 and who suffers with cerebral palsy and cognitive and mobility impairment due to negligently managed delivery at birth, applied for a further interim payment of £1.6m to purchase suitable accommodation in addition to the £700,000 in payments already made.

It was the claimant’s argument that, apart from the heads of loss requiring periodical payments, the compensation overall would be paid by lump sum and when capitalised was valued at up to £4.1m. The request was therefore no more than a reasonable proportion of the overall award.

The defendant argued that given the substantial dispute over future accommodation (the claimant claimed £2.4m and the defendant agreed only £1.2m) a further interim payment in addition the sums already paid would exceed a reasonable proportion of the overall award.

Continued
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In granting the application the judge was persuaded by the claimant’s argument and suggested that the claim, taking a conservative view, was probably worth £3m at a minimum. In addition, the expenditure was both necessary and urgently required as the claimant and her family were residing in a rented accommodation which had been put on the market by the owner and would be expected to leave the property with two months notice. Eeles v Cobham Hires Services Ltd  [2010] 1 WLR 409 followed.

Comment

The judge expressed great difficulty in reaching the decision that he did. This is because he was well aware that a wrong decision could well have adversely affected the trial judge’s ability to make decisions at trial. Thankfully for the claimant, the judge was persuaded by the arguments in her favour and ordered the much needed funds to secure suitable accommodation for her.
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