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22 March 2013, 06:00
A boy who suffered brain damage following heart surgery is to receive a compensation package worth £7.3 million.
Robbie Crane, 13, of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was born with transposition of the great arteries and was admitted to Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, for the defect to be corrected in October 1999 when he was a few days old.
The surgery was successful but a legal claim was brought relating to alleged negligent treatment during a period of ventilation afterwards.
Robbie, who now has cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, limited speech and behavioural problems including no sense of danger, will need specially-adapted accommodation and round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.
In 2011, the High Court heard that settlement in the case had been reached with the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, which denied liability, on the basis that it would pay 70% of the full value of the claim.
Giving final approval to the settlement today, Mr Justice Tugendhat paid tribute to the devotion shown by Robbie's parents, Catherine and Barrie, and wished them well.
Neil Block QC, for the Trust, said that although no admission was made as to breach of duty, he wished to apologise to the family and hoped that one huge worry had been lifted from their shoulders now Robbie was financially secure.
After the hearing in London, Mr and Mrs Crane said: "This brings to an end a long and challenging legal process but the daily care that Robbie requires will continue for the rest of his life.
"This settlement means that he 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.''
Their solicitor, Sue Jarvis, a partner at law firm Blake Lapthorn, said it was one of the most complex cases she had dealt with in 25 years.