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TORIES OUT TO GET SICK KIDS' CASH; They want 25% of compensation.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE BY ANDREW GREGORY HEALTH CORRESPONDENT andrew.gregory@mirror.co.uk

CHILDREN who suffer brain damage at birth due to clinical negligence could have a quarter of their compensation swiped by the Government.

The Tory-led Coalition is considering a move to take 25% of damages awarded by the courts to families of babies harmed by hospital mistakes.

The proposal - which if given the green light could come in as early as April 2013 - has been branded heartless by campaigners.

It comes as the Government aims to slash the legal aid budget by PS350million. Currently, families of brain-damaged babies who win payouts from hospitals using legal aid get to keep the full amount to help support their child.

But under the new proposal, the Government could take a quarter of the compensation and plough it back into the legal aid budget to pay for other court cases.

Sheema Luca, whose two-year-old son Massimo has cerebral palsy, is taking legal action against the hospital where he was born. Mrs Luca, 36, of Chingford, North East London, said: "I'm shocked by the proposals. Every penny won in these cases is vital to families like mine."

Peter Walsh, chief executive of charity Action Against Medical Accidents, said: "It is outrageous and heartless to rob brain-damaged babies of money they need."

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "We are

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 24, 2012
Words:230
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