On 7 April 2000, Mr S was travelling home from school on public transport. A group of youths travelling at the same time persuaded Mr S to disembark early and led him to a building site where they robbed and attacked him. Mr S had his legs tied together and was hoisted upside down where he was then, it is understood, dropped on to his head repeatedly, kicked and left unconscious.
Mr S sustained a fracture to the skull and widespread brain damage. He required treatment in intensive care and then in a neurosurgical unit. He remained in hospital for a month. Thereafter Mr S required a great deal of care from his family and, as a result of his injuries, continues to require care.
Mr S has been left with devastating effects from his brain injury. Mr S had some mild learning disabilities before the assault but following his injuries was estimated to have a loss of about 20 points from his global IQ. He suffered from significant personality changes and as a result became socially isolated. Mr S returned to school a few months after the attack but had great difficulties both with academic work and behaviourally. Ms S left school in 2003 and was cared for at home on a full time basis thereafter by his mother and grandfather.
As a result of his brain injury, Mr S is not going to be able to work or live independently. The brain injury has severely affected his ability to make and sustain meaningful relationships. Mr S may also suffer an acceleration of the development of dementia.
Mr S's mother (Mrs S) made an application to the CICA on his behalf in April 2001 as Mr S was a child. Mrs S then approached Russell-Cooke to take over the claim in May 2005 as she was concerned about how the case was progressing. As Mr S was a young man, unable to work and his family were unable to fund the claim we agreed to cover the costs of the claim until he had obtained compensation.
The CICA obtained evidence from Psychiatrists, Neurologists, a Paediatrician, a Clinical Psychologist and a Consultant Neuroscientist. Mrs S was unhappy with the evidence obtained by the CICA. For example, this evidence suggested that Mr S would not ever have worked in any case due to his learning disabilities and that there should be no claim for lost earnings.
Russell-Cooke obtained separate evidence on behalf of Mr S in these areas which confirmed the extent of Mr S's injuries and the fact that he would have been able to work and live independently but for these injuries. A joint report was obtained with the CICA in relation to Mr S's care needs.
A Schedule of Mr S's losses was submitted to the CICA which incorporated loss of earnings, past care provided by Mr S's family, future care including costs for a support worker and a case manager and including future accommodation needs along with aids and equipment.
The CICA made an offer of £316,317 in April 2011. An appeal was made by Russell Cooke on behalf of Mr S and a further offer was made of £477,177 was made in November 2011 which was accepted by Mrs S on behalf of Mr S. This is nearly the maximum award that can be made by the CICA (which is £500,000).
Mrs S had applied to the Court of Protection to become Mr S's Deputy in order to assist him with managing his affairs and this had been approved. The CICA were asked to award sums to cover the costs of Mr S requiring a Deputy for life including the costs of the Court of Protection.
The award can be broken down as follows:-
General Damages 111,980
Past Loss of Earnings 81,376
Future Loss of Earnings 203,153
Past Care 24,332
Future Care 16,336
Court of Protection Costs 40,000