£7.3m to pay for Robbie’s care

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The family of a teenager who suffered brain damage soon after he was born have been awarded £7.3m to help pay for the care he will need for the rest of his life.

Robbie Crane was born with heart problems which needed surgery at the specialist Harefield Hospital when he was only a few days old, but after a successful operation the ventilator he needed was not properly adjusted for him, his lawyers claimed.

He suffered brain damage which resulted in cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, developmental delay, learning difficulties, behavioural problems and epilepsy.

Robbie, now 13, still lives in Hemel Hempstead with parents Catherine and Barrie and his older brother Harry.

He has limited speech and no sense of danger and he will need specially adapted accommodation and round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

The agreed High Court settlement will consist of a lump sum to buy and adapt his home and to buy aids and equipment as well as an index linked sum paid each year to fund the professional care he has been denied so far. The health authority involved denied liability, but agreed to pay the sum.

Robbie’s parents said in a statement after the announcement: “This brings to an end a long and challenging legal process but the daily care Robbie requires will continue for the rest of his life.

“This settlement means that Robbie will now get everything he needs and our family can now start to plan for the future with confidence.

“We were repeatedly told that there was no chance of securing compensation but our legal team urged us on and so it is a great relief to finally have it decided.”

Sue Jarvis, a partner in the clinical negligence department at law firm Blake Lapthorn, has been appointed by the Court of Protection to manage his affairs and ensure that he receives the care he needs for the rest of his life, but he will continue to live with his family in specially adapted accommodation.

Sue said: “Robbie’s parents have provided loving and devoted care throughout his life and they are pleased that Robbie’s care will continue even when they are no longer able to look after him.

“This was one of the most complex cases that I have dealt with during 25 years of handling cerebral palsy claims.

“Experts were originally of the view that the claim was unlikely to succeed but persistence and a team approach paid off in the end and we are proud to have secured a fitting settlement.”