‘Inspiring’ meningitis victim wins £9 million

Posted: 12th October 2012

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to pay £9 million compensation to a meningitis victim after a High Court judge praised the parents of the 'inspiring' teenager who contracted the potentially lethal infection in a military hospital when just a few hours old.

Hospital SignIn approving a settlement of the case which will ensure that the claimant receives the care and support he needs for the rest of his life, Mrs Justice Cox paid tribute to Tony and Stephanie Dewar for the care and devotion that they have lavished on their 18-year-old son, T.J. who suffered brain damage due to the infection.

T.J was born in 1994 at the Rinteln military hospital in West Germany, close to where his father was then based with the British Army. There were no difficulties with his delivery but T.J. was taken ill within hours of his birth. A doctor who initially examined him failed to spot the early signs of meningitis and the delay in diagnosis resulted in catastrophic brain damage.

The MoD admitted liability for T.J.'s injury and apologised to the Dewar family for the failings at the hospital. The settlement of the case, valued in total at about £9 million, takes the form of a £2.6 million lump sum and annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of care for the remainder of T.J.'s life.

Mrs Justice Cox told Mr and Mrs Dewar: ‘I really enjoyed reading about T.J. - I found the story of his life to date humbling and inspiring. It seems to me that the level of care you have given to T.J. over the years is exceptional and I recognise only too well the tragedy of the situation and the sacrifices that must have been made.

’You have, without doubt, made a real difference to his life and I commend and thank you for all that you have done to date and all that you will continue to do in the future.’