Settlement For Boy Left Deaf After Severe Head Injury

Court Approves Vital Financial Support To Help Youngster ‘To Realise His Full Potential’


The mother of an 11-year-old boy who suffered serious head injuries after being tipped from a highchair by a disabled child when he was a baby has revealed how she hopes a settlement approved by the High Court to cover his ongoing care will help him get the best from life.

Jack Cooper, from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees, was just 12 months old when a baby chair he was sitting on in a café at Teesside Business Park in Middlesbrough in March 2005 was tipped up by an autistic child on school trip, throwing Jack head first onto the floor whilst still strapped into the chair. Jack was left deaf after suffering serious head injuries and will need some level of care and treatment, as well as specialist equipment, for the rest of his life.

His mother instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office to secure a settlement to cover the costs of Jack’s care needs and help his family gain access to equipment to help him get the best from life. Today (27 February 2015) the court has approved an undisclosed settlement from Middlesbrough Council which admitted it had failed to control the autistic child at the time.

The Council was responsible for the management of Beverley School, which is a school for children with autistic spectrum disorders.

Expert Opinion
This was an unusual incident in which Jack suffered very serious and life-changing injuries when he was just a year old.

"The school overseen by the council could have supervised the autistic child better which may have prevented Jack from being tipped from his chair.

"Jack will be likely to need help for the rest of his life and the settlement is based on expert medical evidence about his potential future needs. Hopefully it will give the family peace of mind that he will now receive the help he needs to realise his full potential."
Rebecca Maddock, Solicitor

After the accident, as well as his hearing loss, Jack’s head was badly bruised and swollen and he suffered persistent vomiting and a noticeable change in his behaviour and mood. Now 11 years old, Jack attends a mainstream school but will need counselling and treatments in the future because of his head injury and hearing loss.

Jack’s mother Deborah Patience, 45, said: “I was devastated when I found out about Jack’s head injuries and the fact he had been left with permanent hearing loss. It all happened so fast on the day and was a terrifying experience as it was clear something serious had happened. We were all so worried about him and it has been a very difficult time indeed.

“While Jack’s high chair was pushed under the table and was in a safe position, and I was sitting by his side, I would urge all parents to make sure they check how secure their children are as I know too well how serious head injuries can be.

“Jack is now just getting on with things the best he can but the settlement is a massive relief for us as it means he can get some specialist help with equipment and also some therapies to help him in future.

“This is vital funding which means we can look positively to the future and help Jack to get the very best from life.”

If your child has been seriously injured, our specialist serious injury claims team could help you claim compensation. Visit our Children's Serious Injury Claims for more information.