Swindon & Wiltshire Business News


Novum Law secures £1 million compensation for severely brain injured man

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Huw PontingHuw PontingSpecialist personal injury law firm Novum Law has won a £1 million High Court settlement for a young man who suffered a severe brain injury after being struck by a car on the A12 in Essex as he walked home from school in 2007, aged just 13.

His mother, Lisa Walsh, has spoken of her huge relief after specialist personal injury lawyers from Novum Law in Swindon secured him a one million pound compensation package.

Alby Dobinson (now 23) was a happy, football-mad teenager, progressing well at school when he was hit by a car as he went to cross the westbound carriageway of the A12 from the central reservation on his way home from Shenfield High School, Essex on the last day of term before the Christmas holidays.

The car struck Alby throwing him into the air and he landed five feet further along the road beneath the crash barrier.

Lisa was quickly on the scene summoned by one of Alby’s friends and she recalls seeing him lying in the road, unconscious and not moving, still wearing his school rucksack with his left leg bent out of shape and in an awkward angle.

“I held his hand and begged him ‘come on Alby, wake up, wake up!’” she said.

Doctors at Queen’s Hospital in Romford prepared Lisa Walsh for the worst. Alby had sustained a severe brain injury – a Diffuse Axonal Injury – his left leg was broken in three places, he had broken his left elbow and he had serious internal bruising to his lungs and pancreas.

Alby was transferred to Great Ormond Street’s intensive care unit where he spent two weeks before being transferred to the general neurology ward for a month before returning home to his local hospital, King George Hospital in Ilford to await referral to a specialist rehabilitation unit.

He was finally discharged from the rehabilitation centre in July 2009, nearly 20 months after the accident.

Alby’s case was initially handled by another firm of solicitors, who failed to reach an agreement with the defendant’s solicitors because the defendant refused to accept any liability whatsoever for the accident.

Alby’s solicitors had offered to settle the claim by admitting that Alby was ‘contributorily negligent’ and therefore partly to blame for his injuries. However when this offer was rejected, Alby’s solicitors took no further actions.

In 2015, a chance conversation led to Lisa being recommended personal injury law firm Novum Law which specialises in complex cases involving severe brain injuries.

Huw Ponting, an expert brain injury lawyer, and his team immediately got to work and started painstakingly investigating the accident, getting detailed witness and Police statements and liaising with medical experts.

A trial was set to start this week, but in June this year, the defendant’s solicitors offered to participate in a joint settlement meeting to achieve a settlement before any lengthy Court proceedings started and Alby’s compensation package was agreed.

Huw Ponting said: “This was a very difficult and complex case for everyone involved. The accident has had a profound impact on Alby’s life and the lives of his loved ones.

A full 10 years’ on from that fateful December evening and he continues to suffer from the effects of the severe brain injury he sustained.

His life will be very different from the one his mother Lisa envisaged for him. Alby will need care and support for the rest of his life and given his physical and cognitive limitations, may struggle to work or live independently.

“We are delighted with today’s settlement. Lisa now has peace of mind that she has the means to pay for the specialist therapies that Alby will need on an ongoing basis. It’s fantastic that she’s finally won some justice for her wonderful son.”

Lisa added: “It goes without saying that I am extremely grateful for Novum Law’s help and support and for their unshakeable conviction that we had a case worth pursuing.

“Without them, we faced a pretty bleak future where we lacked the financial resources to pay for Alby’s specialist care.

“It is a huge weight off my mind and I cannot thank Huw, his colleague Claire and their team enough.”