The loving parents of a boy who suffered devastating brain damage during his birth have spoken of their relief after their legal team secured a £6 million settlement of his claim against a West Midlands health trust.
Joseph O'Reggio, aged 10, was left with severe cerebral palsy as a result of complications during his delivery at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital in July 2001. While not accepting full liability for his injuries, the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust apologised to the family and agreed to the settlement at the High Court.
In addition to a lump sum of £1.4 million, Joe will receive annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of his care for life. The settlement is valued at a total of around £6 million.
Speaking after the settlement was approved, Joe’s father, Julian O’Reggio, said: ‘We are just pleased that we have managed to reach an amicable conclusion which will ensure we can provide for Joe's long-term care. These funds will also give him access to the specialist equipment and therapies so he can reach his maximum potential.’
Joe’s mother, Rachel, added: ‘It is just a huge relief. It gives us peace of mind and also means Joe can have facilities that he wouldn't have been able to access.’
The family’s lawyers had argued Joe’s injuries were caused by the failure of hospital staff to react swiftly enough to signs of foetal distress. Joe suffered brain damage and is reliant on a wheelchair, unable to speak or feed himself and requires round-the-clock care. The settlement was reached on the basis of 80% liability and the trust’s barrister issued an apology in open court.
Approving the compromise, Mrs Justice Swift said: ‘I have read the papers and I have seen how much love and care has been showered upon him, and which continues to be given to him, along with the other fortunate members of this family. I hope that the monies will enable Joe's quality of life to be improved, as well as the quality of life of his family as a whole.’