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York hospital agrees compensation over birth injuries

A multi-million pound settlement has been awarded to a man with severe disabilities caused by brain damage he received at birth.

The man, who is in his 20s but cannot be named, sued York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for the way his birth at York hospital had been managed.

The man was awarded a lump sum of £3.8m and annual payments of almost £320,000 for life.

His barrister told the High Court he had severe cerebral palsy and profound physical and learning disabilities and will need lifetime care.

Approving the financial settlement, Mr Justice Freedman, said, despite the man's communication skills being limited, his parents understand most of what he says.

He said: "He interacts well socially. He is able to pick up on social cues, he recognises when people are being rude and wants everyone to get on together."

Representing the man, Jonathan Jones QC added: "He's a character. He's a sports fan and he has a good sense of humour."

In addition to the lump sum, the yearly payments will be index-linked and tax-free and are guaranteed by the NHS.

For the NHS, David Evans QC, said the trust had admitted liability for the man's birth injuries at an early stage and the trust’s chief executive had written to apologise to the family.

He said: "We’re on his side and wish him and his family well for the future."

Mr Justice Freedman also expressed his admiration for the man's parents, praising their dedication to their son.

He said: "No amount of money can compensate for what he and his family have been through but it is to be hoped that this settlement will provide some closure and enable them to move on and meet the challenges of the future."

A York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: "The trust is pleased that an agreement has been reached with the man's family in respect of the claim arising from the delay in delivering him.

"We would like to reiterate our sincere apologies to him, and his family, that this happened."

The trust added: "We truly regret that the delay resulted in him suffering from cerebral palsy and learning difficulties and recognise the huge impact this has had on his life and that of his family."