An eight-year-old girl who was left severely disabled by a bout of meningitis shortly after her birth has been awarded more than £13 million in compensation.
The pay-out is believed to be a record in a clinical negligence case where the claimant’s life expectancy was substantially reduced as a result of her injuries.
The girl had been born suffering from a streptococcal infection. The NHS trust which managed the relevant hospital admitted that there had been a negligent failure to diagnose and treat that condition, which led to meningitis. The girl was left quadriplegic, almost blind and dependent on 24-hour professional care.
The High Court awarded her a lump sum of £3,592,336 to cover the costs of her past care and a wide range of specialist equipment and therapies that she would need. On top of that, she would receive annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to meet the costs of looking after her for the rest of her life.
Those payments would start at £225,280 a year, before rising to £246,421 a year when she reached her 18th birthday. The girl was expected to live until about the age of 49. The lump sum included £305,000 for her pain, suffering and loss of amenity and £270,000 to cover the costs of her care to date.
£400,000 was set aside to pay for specialist equipment, £300,000 to compensate her for a lifetime of lost earnings, £128,000 for holidays, £250,000 for transport costs and another £820,000 for specially adapted accommodation.