Having received an initial interim payment of £500,000, the family moved to rental accommodation in 2019. A case manager was appointed and began to recruit carers to ensure BZJ received the 24/7 care he required, with two carers on hand at most times to ensure his safety. Private therapies were arranged including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and psychology.
While the care and case management package was being established, Mark and his team instructed various medico legal experts to assist in quantifying the claim. A paediatric neurologist was asked to assess BJZ's future prognosis and to assist the Court in providing an estimate of his future life expectancy. An orthopaedic expert was asked to comment on BZJ's future medical needs whilst an educational psychologist provided a report dealing with his future schooling and psychology requirements.
An accommodation expert provided a view as to the size and cost of the property that BZJ would need to move into in order to cater for him, his family and all of the equipment that experts in speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and assistive technology all advised BZJ would require in the future as well as the team of carers assessed as needed by the care expert.
A settlement meeting in April 2022 was postponed due to cost discussions with the care expert. At a meeting in June, a substantial settlement was achieved whereby on a 100 per cent basis the total value of the claim was just under £30m, making it one of the largest reported cases of its kind, due to the combination of BZJ's long life expectancy but complex physical needs.
At conclusion of the claim, the defendant paid tribute to BZJ's parents for everything they had done for him and that hopefully they could look to the future with some optimism following the legal battle that began in 2015.
Following the approval hearing, BZJ's mother said:
"We first met with Mark more than seven years ago, when our child was just 3 weeks old. We instantly knew that Mark and his team at Fieldfisher were the right people to take on our case and get the results we wanted.
"During the whole process from initial consultation to settlement, and during some very difficult times, Mark was with us every step of the way guiding us through the process and relieving any stress or anxiety that we had. Mark is very meticulous and those finer details gave us great confidence in him and we knew we would get the outcome we felt we deserved."
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