After receiving heart treatment as children that left them both with brain damage, two teenagers who made medical negligence claims against a Bristol area hospital have recently been awarded £500 million in personal injury compensation.
Accident claim experts state that eighteen year old Jessica Johnson and Kristian Dixon, now aged nineteen, were each awarded £500,000 in damages by the NHS Trust for United Bristol Healthcare. The payments come nearly a full decade after a public inquiry was made into the Bristol Royal Infirmary’s standard of care towards paediatric cardiac surgery patients.
In what has become known as the ‘Bristol heart scandal’ of the 1990s, thirty five newborns died and many more suffered serious injuries. The public inquiry discovered that mortality rates for paediatric heart surgery patients was twice the national average.
In 1992, Mr Dixon had undergone a surgical procedure on his heart as a sixteen-month old child. However the young man’s injury claims state that the quality of his surgery was sub-standard. Additionally he claims that the botched operation resulted in the life-changing brain damage from which he now suffers.
Ms Johnson had two separate operations in 1993 and 1995. In the wake of her brain damage, her grandmother (who expressed criticism towards both surgical procedures) now provides care for the eighteen year old.
One NHS Trust spokesperson remarked that a settlement had been reached in both Ms Johnson’s and Mr Dixon’s claims without the admission of liability on the part of the trust. However the spokesperson expressed the hope that the compensatory damages would provide a fulfilled and secure future for both teenagers.
The NHS trust declined to comment further on the matter, sources say.