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Pain For Much Gain: Biggest Compensation Payouts

by Firths Compensation on December 9, 2013

compensationIt might come as a surprise to learn just how common compensation claims are all around the world. From injuries suffered at work, to losses arising out of negligence or even a breach of contract, the laws surrounding compensation across the world are vast and encompass a huge variety of different scenarios and grievances.

The monetary range of compensation also varies greatly, from coverage for a sprained muscle to that for life-long injury, death or disease. Read on to find out about some of the largest compensation cases making the headlines from various jurisdictions around the world and what was awarded to the victims.

1.    Agnes Collier

In 2012, Agnes Collier, then 17 and studying at a college in England, was awarded $23 million pounds in compensation for injuries she sustained in a car crash during 2009. Collier’s mother was killed in the crash, and she herself sustained severe, paralyzing injuries that will require constant care for the rest of her life. As part of court arrangements, Collier will receive around $7 million pounds in an upfront payment and then around $270,000 pounds annually for the rest of her (estimated) natural life. The case is considered one of the largest personal injury payouts in English legal history.

2.    Milly Evans

In a tragic development at the time of her birth, the heart rate of Milly Evans was not properly monitored by staff and as a result of this oversight she sustained lifelong injuries. Being unable to speak, wheelchair bound and in need of high-end care, an action was launched on Evans’ behalf alleging negligence on the part of the National Health Service (NHS). Following developments in court, the NHS agreed to pay the Evans family $5.9 million pounds immediately and further payments of $200,000 pounds, coming to a total of $10.8 million pounds to cover the scale of Evans’ injuries.

3.    Joseph O’ Reggio

In yet another case of negligence at child birth, Joseph O’ Reggio was awarded a $6 million pound compensation payout at court for brain damage he sustained as a result of medical negligence at the time of his birth. Now afflicted with cerebral palsy, severe learning difficulties and being unable to feed himself, the court held it was only appropriate that the NHS pay the sum to O’ Reggio’s family, since he requires constant concerted care, and must see speech therapists and physiotherapists on a regular basis for rehabilitative purposes. O’ Reggio may now be able to afford the care he needs, but it’s important to note that even just claims can fail in court if not argued well- so make sure if you require compensation that you hire competent compensation lawyers to maximize your chances of receiving appropriate recompense.

4.    Zachary Quinn

Turning to Australia, and in what remains one of the biggest negligence payouts in Australian history, 7 year old Zachary Quinn’s family was awarded more than $9 million dollars in damages because of complications arising out of his birth. Zachary’s mother, Teanne, headed to hospital complaining that there was no foetal movement inside her womb, and doctors and hospital staff performed only cursory checks on before releasing her. As a result of this negligence, Quinn was born with severe learning difficulties and cerebral palsy, similar to Joseph O Reggio (above). Teanne stated that the payout would help her cope with the costs of caring for her son, and would help him receive the best quality of life possible under the circumstances.

5.    Payout for Child Abuse

In what is possibly the largest payout in the record books, a judge in Texas ordered accused child molester Don Wilburn Collins to pay $150 billion dollars in compensation to the family of Robbie Williams, a boy who Collins was alleged to have doused in gasoline and set on fire in 1998. Even though it is impossible for Collins to make the payment, it is nonetheless legally binding and Williams’ parents say they mainly wanted legal recognition of Collins’ wrongdoing.  The payment awarded is said to be close in value to the entire economy of Peru, making it an exorbitant (but symbolically important) compensation order.

This post was produced in partnership with Firths Compensation Lawyers.

Image credit: vagawi via flickr

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