Robbie’s High Court success

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A BOY of 12 who suffered brain damage after heart surgery is set to receive millions of pounds of compensation in an out-of-court settlement.

Robbie Crane, of Poynders Hill in Hemel Hempstead, underwent surgery at Harefield Hospital after being born with a heart defect, but though the procedure was successful, his lawyers alleged there was negligence in the way he was ventilated afterwards.

A judge at the High Court in London on Monday heard that settlement in the case had been reached with the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, which denies liability.

Under the agreement Robbie will receive 70 per cent of the full sum – yet to be assessed – necessary to provide him with the care, accommodation, aids and equipment and support that he will need for the rest of his life.

Robbie – who lives with his father Barrie, mother Kate and brother Harry, 17 – was born with transposition of the great arteries and went to hospital for the defect to be corrected in October 1999.

Mr Justice Owen praised the family for the care they had given him and approved the settlement as being in their son’s best interests in a case that raised ‘difficult questions’.

Neil Block QC, for the hospital trust, said ‘notwithstanding that there is no admission of liability’, the trust acknowledged that ‘serious issues’ had been raised about Robbie’s treatment.

After the hearing Barrie, a 40-year-old delivery driver, said Robbie was at Breakspeare School but he needs to be reassessed.

“It’s been a struggle but he’s going to get all the help he needs – it’s gone from one extreme to the other,” he said. “We’ve had no respite at all. We’ve had to deal with everything ourselves for the last 12 years.

“It’s a weight off our minds. He’ll get all the care he needs for the rest of his life.”