£6.2 million compensation for man left profoundly brain damaged after medication overdose


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The Independent Online

A man left profoundly brain damaged after he was overdosed with medication in a mental health unit is to receive a compensation package worth £6.2 million.

Christopher Lines, 33, now has very little capacity for communication and limited use of his arms and legs, and is entirely dependent on others.

Mr Lines, of Colchester, Essex, became unconscious for 18 hours when he was prescribed an incorrect medication regime and not monitored appropriately after his admission to the town's Lakes Mental Health Unit in June 2008.

North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust promptly admitted liability and today settled a damages claim brought on Mr Lines's behalf by his parents, Steve and Carole.

At London's High Court, its counsel James Watson QC, offered an unreserved apology for its failings and said it was a privilege to meet the family.

Judge Martin McKenna approved an award which comprises a £2.1 million lump sun and annual lifelong payments of £205,000.

The judge said he was moved by the dedication shown by Christopher's parents and wished them well for the future.

Steve Lines said later: "Pursuing this claim has taken four years out of our lives and had a profound effect on our family.

"Christopher's settlement will, no doubt, seem like a lot of money to some people, but every single penny will be needed to ensure that Christopher is well looked after on a daily basis and that his future is securely provided for."

He added: "The treatment Chris received from the medical profession was appalling. He needed their help, but they have destroyed his life.

"He can no longer kick a football with his son or enjoy watching him grow.

"There is sadness in our lives because of this, but also a lot of joy, as every day brings another milestone, when Chris laughs or remembers words we thought he had lost forever.

"We try, as best we can, to make sure that Chris is still able to experience life. He has a great team of carers who take him swimming, to the park, to the cinema, and thanks to the charity, the Woolverstone Project, he has also been able to go sailing."