Northampton Borough Council Pay £13 million Compensation To Family
… after 15 years of legal wrangling!
Following a lengthy and drawn out legal battle, Partner and Brain Injury Specialist Tristan Holdom and his dedicated Personal Injury team at Tollers Solicitors recently won a landmark case on behalf of a client. The case which related to an injury suffered by a child in 2002 has taken 15 years to reach a settlement.
In June 2015 the High Court delivered a strong Judgement in favour of the claimant finding Northampton Borough Council, who owned and ran Danes Camp Leisure Centre, negligent causing the Claimant to suffer a catastrophic brain injury.
The trial only dealt with the issues of negligence and the cause of the injury. The question of the value of the case was to be decided at a later hearing.
The Defendant did not accept the Court’s decision in 2015 and spent the following two years trying to appeal this judgment.
During this two year period the Defendant made no attempt to negotiate a settlement. The Court of Appeal rules required the parties to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution and 4 weeks before the Appeal Hearing which was due for 14th June 2017, they came to mediation.
At the meeting and through both mediation and negotiation the Defendant finally made a reasonable offer of settlement – a lump sum of £13 million.
The Appeal Hearing was put on hold following the Mediation Meeting and instead a Settlement Approval Hearing was held on 15th June 2017. This type of Hearing is required where the Claimant is a child or does not have mental capacity. The Claimant after all this time is now an adult, aged 22 but does not have mental capacity due to the injury sustained.
The recent Hearing held was for the Judge to consider the terms of settlement agreed between the parties and to ensure he was satisfied that they were in the best interests of the Claimant and that the settlement agreed upon would adequately provide for the Claimant’s needs for the rest of their life.
This result was a culmination of incredibly hard work, tenacity, skill, persistence and very often significant stress, on the part of all the solicitors, support staff and barristers involved.
The work and hours dedicated to this case over the 15 years has not just been 9-5.30 Monday to Friday, but many evenings and weekends to ensure this positive outcome was achieved.
However, the hard work and long hours committed by the team at Tollers and Counsel pales into complete insignificance when compared to the Claimant’s mothers uncompromising sacrifice, stress, strain and unwavering dedication to her son in the face of over a decade of fierce resistance and denial of liability by the Defendant, Northampton Borough Council and their legal team.
The result achieved is exactly why Tristan Holdom does his job.
Tristan said “It’s not about the money. It’s not about the glory. It’s about doing what’s right and being able to change the lives of innocent victims of negligence and those who care for them.
To see the expression of sheer exhaustion but also total relief on the face of Mum, who has tirelessly looked after her son with no support or compassion from the Defendant, made it all worth it.
Money won’t turn the clock back to 2002 when a 6 year old boy almost drowned, but it will make sure they can buy a home where Mum can finally stop sleeping on the sofa. Where she can get the support workers to come in and take her son out and give her a few hours respite. Where she can regain her identity as a person as opposed to a carer and can just be a mum again. A home where my client can live for the next 50 years and Mum can rest easy that he will be looked after when she can no longer do it. Above all, where my client and his family can start living and be happy again.
This is a fantastic and momentous result but more importantly allows our client and his family to start a new life which has been on hold for over 15 years”.
Tristan and all of team at Tollers would like to thank Bill Braithwaite QC and Cath Howells from Exchange Chambers for all of the assistance and support they provided that has led to this positive result and the wider team for all of their endeavours in securing this result for the family.