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Downs Syndrome boy wins NHS payout after 13-year court battle

PUBLISHED: 20:31 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:23 05 October 2010

Halim smiles after High Court awards him £1m+

Halim smiles after High Court awards him £1m+

THE family of a Down’s Syndrome teenager condemned to a life of severe disability by a medical blunder when he was four are celebrating following a court awarding them millions after a 13-year struggle. Halim Motin needs 24-hour care for the rest of his life, due to admitted negligence by the NHS at a children’s clinic in London’s East End back in 1994. Tuesday’s victory in the High Court means the family have the means to pay for care for the rest of his life

By Mike Brooke

THE family of a teenager with Down's Syndrome condemned to a life of severe disability by a medical blunder when he was four are celebrating following a court awarding them £1 million-plus after a 13-year struggle.

Halim Motin needs 24-hour care for the rest of his life, due to admitted negligence by the NHS at a children's clinic in London's East End back in 1994.

Tuesday's victory in the London High Court means the family in Quaker-street in Spitalfields have the means to pay for care for the rest of his life.

It was a fight that the family say cost the life of Halim's father, Abdul, who died from a heart attack 10 years ago which they say was caused by the stress.

"I had to take over after my dad died," Halim's sister Rukia told the East London Advertiser after the settlement.

"My dad began this battle 13 years ago, but the case was very stressful. He wasn't happy and had to get legal advice, but died in the middle of it all when he was 49.

"Now the whole family is so happy and relieved it's finally over, after 13 years.

"Halim deserves it, what we've been through."

Rukia, a 27-year-old teaching-assistant at Poplar's Stebbon primary school, took up the reins in 1998 and engaged a solicitor at TV Edwards law firm in Mile End.

But it was a long, hard struggle through the courts until Tuesday's final verdict in their favour.

Halim, now 18, developed a complicated spinal cord disorder when he was four that sometimes affects Down's Syndrome children.

He was taken to Bethnal Green's former Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Sick Children in Hackney-road with a chest infection.

But health staff who examined him failed to appreciate the significance of his condition or refer him for assessment by a neurological surgeon.

He was in hospital almost five years and has been left quadriplegic.

The North East London Strategic Health Authority admitted liability and agreed this week to a settlement to cover his care costs for life.

He gets a lump sum of almost £1,078,000, plus index-linked sums each year, starting at £228,000.

The family's solicitor, Nicola Mooney, took the case with her when she moved from her Mile End job to a law firm in Kent.

She said after the hearing: "Halim's family never gave up on him. He is a loved and valued member of the family."

mike.brooke@archant.co.uk


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