Boy left severely disabled after birth at Watford General Hospital wins £4m compensation (From Watford Observer)
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Mattia Dessi, who was left severely disabled after birth at Watford General Hospital, wins £4m compensation
5:30pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
A boy who was left severely disabled after being starved of oxygen during his birth at Watford General Hospital has been awarded £4million compensation.
Mattia Dessi has severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy caused by problems encountered during his birth in 2004. He is blind, epileptic and cannot walk, speak or sit independently.
The nine-year-old was delivered by emergency Caesarean section seven hours into his labour and did not take his first breath until five minutes after he was born The Dessi family accused medical staff of not acting quickly enough when Mattia was in distress in the womb. They claim the delay starving his brain of oxygen, and resulted in his severe disabilities.
A High Court Judge at the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand today approved a compensation payout of £1.6million, and annual payments of £156,000 a year until Mattia is 19.
He will then be paid £206,000 each year for the rest of his life, based on his estimated life expectancy.
Mattia’s parents Tony and Vivien Dessi struggled financially while looking after their son, and worked opposite night and day shifts in order to care for him, while earning enough money to support the family.
Mr Dessi worked nights as a carer and his wife worked during the day as a cleaner.
Mrs Dessi, 37, said: "It’s always been a worry about how Mattia will be cared for in the future.
"We hope to be there for him but if we are not then this settlement means we know he will be taken care of."
West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust admitted breaches in its duty of care in delaying delivery, but initially denied that this caused Mattia's disability.
At a round table meeting of lawyers from both sides before the case was listed for trial, a compromise agreement was reached that Mattia would receive 85 percent of the full value of his claim.
Mattia was represented by Blake Lapthorn clinical negligence solicitor Sue Jarvis, who specialises in complex cerebral palsy cases.
Sue Jarvis said: "Mr and Mrs Dessi are very devoted parents who have made huge sacrifices to look after Mattia.
"This award will ensure that he has the appropriate care in the short term and also help to reassure the family that Mattia will be provided for in their future."
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