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Meningitis Teenager Receives Multi-Million-Pound Award

Lightning does, sadly, sometimes strike twice in the same place. That was certainly so in the case of a teenager whose congenital disabilities were greatly worsened by a devastating childhood bout of meningitis.

The girl had a heart defect and developmental delay but was progressing well before she contracted the infection at the age of seven. Due to a delay in her treatment, both her legs had to be partially amputated. She also lost some of her fingers. After a clinical negligence claim was launched on her behalf, the NHS trust that bore responsibility for her care swiftly admitted liability in full.

The trust's chief executive had written to the girl and her family expressing profound apologies for the shortcomings in her care. A comprehensive review of the case had been carried out and hard questions had been asked and answered with a view to avoiding similar incidents in future. Glowing tribute was paid on all sides to the courage shown by the girl and her family, particularly her mother.

Following negotiations, the trust agreed to settle the girl's claim for a gross lump sum of £6,925,000 together with annual, index-linked, six-figure payments to cover the costs of her care for life. In approving the settlement, the High Court noted that no amount of money could turn the clock back. The outcome of the case meant, however, that the girl will always receive high-quality care and that she and her family can face the future with some confidence.

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