£6.9m compensation for failed meningitis diagnosis

£6.9m overall settlement for undiagnosed meningitis sufferer

Circumstances

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Case details

As a 4 month old baby the claimant was taken to the defendants Hospital by his parents suffering from a high temperature. Other symptoms included constantly crying being off his food and being generally tired. Rather than admitting the claimant to the Hospital for observation the defendants gave his parents a course of antibiotics for the claimant to take. The claimant's symptoms worsened. He was subsequently diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis.

Injuries and Progression

The claimant suffered life altering injuries. His life expectancy was reduced by over 40 years. The claimant suffered significant brain injuries. He had epilepsy cerebral palsy. He had problems in respect of learning. He also had issues with his hearing. His mobility was significantly impaired both in his upper and lower limbs.

He had epileptic fits most days. He had hardly any communication skills. He could not self care. He would never find gainful employment due to the severity of his various conditions. There was unlikely to be any improvement in the claimant's condition. In fact it was most likely that in the future the claimant would be at risk of hip dislocation and developing scoliosis.

Medical evidence from various medical experts was obtained over the years in support of the claimant's claim. Care reports were also obtained detailing the significant level of on going care the claimant would need. A report was obtained on adaptation of the property where the claimant lived to allow for medical equipment to be installed to assist in his care.

Settlement

The claimant's and defendants solicitors entered into meaningful negotiations with a view of trying to reach an amicable settlement in respect of the claimant's compensation. Negotiations were protracted but eventually the solicitors reached an agreement. By this time the claimant had reached the age of 10. In view of the claimant's age and indeed his mental capacity approval of the settlement had to be obtained from the court.

Often in a case with such severe injuries the amount agreed for compensation for the claimant's pain suffering and loss of amenity (£275,000) is far out weighed by the on going care package for life. This case was no different in that respect. The Court ordered that there would be an immediate one off payment to the claimant of £2,900,000. In addition the claimant would receive annual payments starting at £185,00 and rising to £207,500 by the time the claimant was aged 19. The overall settlement was £6,915,715.

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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