Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Monday, 3 November 2008

Brain damaged man wins 5m payout

St Peter's Hospital
Darren Anderson was born at St Peter's Hospital on 7 December, 1970

A man who suffered brain damage at his birth in 1970 is to receive a compensation package which could add up to more than 5m.

Darren Anderson, 37, from Woking, Surrey, will get a lump sum of more than 1.3m and annual payments of more than 70,000 for the rest of his life.

His solicitors said experts believed he could live another 46 years or more.

The High Court heard Mr Anderson was disabled by injuries he suffered at birth at St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey.

Judge Mr Justice Sweeney paid tribute to Mr Anderson's father Brian, 65, and mother Audrey, 62, for the "remarkable" job they had done in looking after their son.

He said it was clear Mr Anderson's cerebral palsy had had a dramatic effect on his own life and those of his parents, who also have an older son, Jason, aged 40.

Mr and Mrs Anderson were initially wrongly informed they could not make a claim for compensation.

Then, in 1999, a relative saw a newspaper story about a successful cerebral palsy claim brought many years after a birth, and fresh legal advice was taken.

The issue of liability was resolved in March 2007.

Learning difficulties

Angus Moon QC, for the South East Coast NHS Strategic Health Authority, told the court: "May I express on behalf of the health authority its regret for the injuries this claimant suffered."

Solicitors Hart Brown, who took up the family's case, said that Mr Anderson had severe learning difficulties and impaired motor skills.

He will never be able to live independently or hold down any sort of job.

"This is an excellent result for the family," said Paul Grimwood, a partner with the law firm.

"It will enable Darren to buy a house to live in with his carers and support workers, and go some way towards enabling him to lead a more fulfilling life than has been possible to date.

"Even though no amount of money can ever compensate for the effect of the injuries on his life and that of his family, at least Darren's parents now have the comfort of knowing that his needs in the future will largely be catered for."

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