Highest ever personal injury award, including a £950,000 per annum Periodical Payment Order, secured by Devereux team for a catastrophically injured 7 year old Claimant

Steve Killalea QC and Peter Edwards have secured an unprecedented settlement in a child catastrophic injury case that is the highest-ever personal injury award in the UK. A lump sum of £3.1 million and a Periodical Payment Order (PPO) of £950,000 per annum were approved in the High Court at a hearing on 1st May 2019 (ATX (A Child by her Litigation Friend ATY) v CRS and DPS [2018] HQ18P00384).  On the basis of the Claimant’s expert evidence as to the life expectancy, the capitalised value of the settlement is in region of £45 million.

The Claimant, now aged 7 years, is a ventilator-dependent tetraplegic being nursed at home by a double-up care team 24/7, with a registered nurse as part of the care team. Care funding to date had been provided by the CCG with a small proportion paid by the local authority.

The major quantum dispute was life expectation with the estimates varying between a further 10 years on the Defendants’ evidence to a further 44 years on the Claimant’s evidence. In order to address this stark dispute between the parties, the settlement provided for an unprecedented number of heads of future loss to be absorbed into the PPO.

The lump sum of £3.1 million included general damages and past losses, and capital sums in respect of accommodation (a new adapted house), a home hydrotherapy pool, education costs, and assistive technology.

The PPO of £950,000 per annum was indexed to the 80th centile of ASHE 6115.  It was subject to an active reverse indemnity in respect of statutory care funding. However, unusually and in order to protect the Claimant’s position, the indemnity was capped at £544,658 p.a. (again indexed to the 80th centile of ASHE 6115) which represented the current cost of the statutory funded care being received by the Claimant. The balance of the PPO over the indemnity sum represented a “top-up” in respect of additional care costs, case management, hydrotherapy pool running costs, therapies, transport, medical costs, technology, holidays, and Court of Protection/Deputy fees.

Steve Killalea QC and Peter Edwards were instructed by Francis Lacy-Scott of ASB Aspire.

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