Derek Sweeting QC and Richard Baker recently appeared before the High Court in the landmark case of JR v Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust [2017] EWHC 1245 (QB) – the first case on Roberts v Johnstone [1989] Q.B. 878 accommodation claims since the Lord Chancellor changed the discount rate. The case also involved an award for “Lost Years” reversing a trend against such awards for claimants injured at birth.

The claimant, known as JR, was awarded a lump sum of almost £8m and annual tax free payments of just over £293,000 for life. Over JR’s lifetime the damages award will be at least £23.5m; this is the largest ever compensation figure for a man who has been left with cerebral palsy as a result of negligence during his birth. Lawyers representing Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have accepted that the decision by the medical team at Jessops Hospital not to deliver JR by Caesarean section-when he was premature at only 29 weeks and in the breech position-was negligent.

The claimant has permission to appeal, and this case is likely to be the first in which the Court of Appeal has an opportunity to reconsider the underlying issues in relation to claims for the purchase of  adapted accommodation. This case follows on from the case of Manna, in which Derek Sweeting QC and Richard Baker succeeded in the Court of Appeal earlier this year and which was also a significant case in relation to accommodation claims.​


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