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Victim of TB Contact Testing Failure Achieves Justice

Anyone who lived through the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be well aware of the crucial importance of contact testing. A case in which a teenager received a multi-million-pound settlement illustrated the catastrophic consequences that can arise when the testing regime breaks down.

The girl was a healthy three-year-old when her aunt's partner was diagnosed with tuberculosis. All those with whom he had been in contact should have been tested for the disease. That, however, was not done and, after the girl contracted the infection, it developed into life-threatening meningitis. She sustained permanent brain damage that affects all aspects of her life.

After action was taken on her behalf, the NHS Commissioning Board admitted liability. It accepted that, had appropriate contact testing been carried out, the girl's condition would have been diagnosed earlier than it was and she would have escaped neurological damage.

Following negotiations, settlement terms were agreed whereby the girl will receive a lump sum of £5,525,000, together with index-linked payments of £155,000 a year to cover the costs of the professional care and assistance she will need for life. It was further agreed that she could return to court for further compensation if she develops blindness at any point in her life. The High Court approved the settlement as being in her best interests.

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