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Medical negligence: hospital pays £3.9m damages 35 years after incident

Brain damage reviled by scan


A couple have been awarded compensation of £3.9 million, 35 years after their baby suffered brain damage in hospital.

Salvatore, the son of Maria and Leo di Giorgi, of Luton, Bedfordshire, was born in April 1971. They only found out he had brain damage when he underwent a scan after his first epileptic fit at the age of 13. The High Court found the injury was caused by care he received at Luton and Dunstable Hospital following intestinal surgery four days after his birth.

Mr Justice Eady gave his approval to the £3.9m on Monday to be paid in settlement of the family's damages claim against Luton and Dunstable NHS Trust. He said:

"This is in some ways a remarkable story with Salvatore's parents not discovering that there was a claim for more than 20 years. Meanwhile, they looked after him devotedly without monetary compensation."

The judge ruled that the award was "entirely appropriate" and expressed his "very best wishes to the family for the future".

Salvatore did not receive the care he needed on the hospital's paediatric ward and he became progressively more dehydrated. When his condition became critical he was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital on May 20, 1971.

Brain injury caused Thrombosis

The family's counsel, Dr Simon Fox, said Salvatore survived as a result of the care he received at Great Ormond Street: "However, the thrombosis had in fact caused a significant injury to his brain."