Lawyer Stresses Importance Of Legal Aid In Funding ‘Life Changing’ Cases
The family of a young boy left with catastrophic injuries following serious medical errors during his birth have spoken of their relief after funding was secured that guarantees him a lifetime of around-the-clock care.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell represented the family of Jack Dyer, now seven, throughout their battle for justice and confirmed that he was awarded an undisclosed sum at a High Court hearing today which will enable him to live as normal a life as possible in spite of his condition.
In January 2010 Warwick hospital admitted that here been an unacceptable delay in delivering Jack in July 2004 during which time his brain was starved of oxygen leaving him severely brain damaged, partially sighted and suffering from Cerebral Palsy and a number of life changing injuries which have left him unable to stand, walk or talk.
With no independent mobility Jack, who lives with his parents, and younger brothers in Worcester, will never be able to work, or live independently. He will require 24 hour care for the rest of his life.
But the family say that despite South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust accepting full responsibility for the tragedy early last year they were forced to continue their fight for justice until finally, just days before the case was due to be heard in Court, the Trust also agreed a settlement that would fund the care package Jack needs.
Jennifer Emerson, a medical law and patients’ rights specialist from Irwin Mitchell went on to call for lessons learnt by the trust to be shared across the NHS in a bid to prevent further such tragedies in the future. She said: “It is essential that evidence of lessons being learnt from this tragic case are made public, and shared across the NHS urgently to ensure that no one has to suffer in the way this family has going forward.
“I hope the family can now look forward to the future and that the compensation awarded to Jack here today, which will be carefully managed by the firm’s Court of Protection team, ensures he has access to the very best care and rehabilitation he needs to live as normal a life as possible in spite of his injuries in a specially adapted home with his parents and two younger brothers.”
Emerson went on to say: "This is an important, life changing case which has allowed our client to access justice and secure the lifetime of future care he needs but it would not have been possible without the support of legal aid."
Jack’s parents Sharon and Dale, who had lived in Honeybourne, Evesham when Jack was born said: "Even though we are pleased with the final outcome of this long battle we will not be celebrating as the last seven years have been a real struggle. We will just concentrate on providing for Jack's future care and needs. Although the case has now been settled in Jack’s favour it means he now has the security and support he will require for the rest of his life.”
Sharon added: "I feel really let down by the Maternity Ward team who were supposed to take care of Jack and myself. I trusted them and their mistakes are something which my son now has to live with for the rest of his life."