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Hospital due to pay out millions for causing autism

Posted in: Birth Injury Medical Negligence 

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust is facing a compensation payout of millions of pounds after a couple recognised that medical negligence was responsible for their son’s autism. Ben Harman’s parents are taking the trust to court with the belief that their son’s autism was caused by a birthing accident at Kent and Canterbury Hospital in 2002. They only recognised that this could be the case when they applied for a disabled parking badge.

Ben’s parents began to worry about their son’s wellbeing when he failed to reach certain milestones during his early years. However, they had absolutely no suspicions that his condition was the result of medical negligence. When the couple applied for a blue badge for their car, they were asked for medical evidence to support their application. It was soon discovered that medical staff had failed to diagnose his “catastrophically low” blood sugar levels after birth, which led him to develop autism.

Fund his life-long care needs

Joanne Harman sued the trust after it admitted liability in July 2013. Ben is due to receive compensation that will fund his life-long care needs, believed to be seven-figures. The compensation package will cover his fees at a specialist boarding school, his care regime at home, and the trust will also pay for the family’s new home that will allow them to be close to their son.

The family believes that it is best for him to be in a specialist school as, Mrs Harman explains: “He is prone to having unpredictable tantrums and can lash out physically while shrieking at the top of his voice.” The family is determined that he will move back home at age 25.

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