Portsmouth family win £5.8m payout after hospital admits neglect

PAYOUT Perry Evans
PAYOUT Perry Evans
Eric and Maureen Chivers from Emsworth. Eric is heaping praise on the NHS for the superb teatment he recieved when he was in hospital with a serious illness     'Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Gosport man who spent months in hospital with paralysing disease says ‘I owe NHS staff my life’

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A SEVERELY disabled 10-year-old boy from Portsmouth has today won £5.8m in compensation after a hospital’s failure left him with brain damage.

At a hearing at The Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning, Southampton University Hospitals Trust admitted negligent treatment, which resulted in Perry Evans suffering severe brain damage a number of weeks after his birth in 2002.

The court approved an award to provide care for Perry for the rest of his life valued at just over £5.8m.

Perry was born in 2002 with anal stenosis – restrictions in the anal canal – which was not properly treated when he was admitted to Southampton General Hospital with a bowel obstruction.

As a result of this failure, Perry’s gut ruptured resulting in severe brain damage that has left him with cerebral palsy and learning difficulties.

Because of weak muscles, Perry has to be fed by tube and he has significant dysarthria – meaning it is difficult for him to talk and has limited vocabulary.

He is registered blind, although has some vision, and even though he can sit and stand with the help of a frame, he cannot roll, crawl or walk.

Perry had to undergo a series of operations to correct hip dislocation and will need to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

It means he is totally dependent on his family who care for him on a full-time basis.

Judge Mitchell approved a settlement comprising a £2.15m lump sum and annual payments starting from £150,000-a-year, rising to £240,000 after he reaches the age of 18.

The family was represented by law firm Blake Lapthorn, who specialise in medical negligence.

Sue Jarvis, who represented the family, said: ‘I’m delighted Perry has received such an excellent settlement, particularly bearing in mind that he has a reduced life expectancy because of the trust’s negligence.

‘I am pleased the money will mean his family will be able to secure the professional assistance that Perry will need for the rest of his life.’

Margaret Bowron, QC for SUHT, issued a full public apology to Perry and his family for the mistakes made.

She said: ‘We’re truly sorry that Perry suffered such grievous injuries as a result of the inadequacies of his care as a small child.’

She also described him as a “wonderful, happy and positive little boy”.