1.2m pounds for teenager damaged at birth

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A TEENAGER left with catastrophic brain damage after he was asphyxiated during his birth was yesterday awarded pounds 1.2m damages at the High Court in London.

Paul Faulkner, who was born at St George's Hospital, Tooting, south-west London, in May 1979, suffers from very severe cerebral palsy.

Now 14, but with the intellect of a child half his age, he cannot move his limbs voluntarily, nor speak intelligibly except for words such as 'mum'. His body often goes into spasms and he has to be strapped into his wheelchair.

But despite his condition, Paul is an alert, cheerful and sociable boy who enjoys riding and swimming at his school, and watching sport on TV at home, Judge Christopher Hordern QC, said.

'He continually attempts to communicate and clearly has insight into his own condition,' the judge added.

The judge also paid tribute to the 'truly heroic' devotion of Paul's parents, Stephen, a postman, and Eileen, who care for him and their other two children at Crescent Grove, Mitcham, Surrey.

The damages of pounds 1,206,340, with costs, were awarded against Wandsworth Health Authority, which admitted liability.