Meningitis misdiagnosis girl compensated

Posted: 25th April 2016

Hospital SignIt is difficult not to have sympathy with busy doctors who make mistakes – but, when considering whether to seek compensation, it is important to remember that they are insured. In one case, a girl who was left severely disabled by a family GP’s misdiagnosis of meningitis won more than £4.5 million from his professional insurers.

The girl was just 15 months old when the GP diagnosed the potentially fatal bug as a simple ear infection and failed to refer her immediately to hospital. Her lawyers blamed the resulting delay in treatment for the brain damage she suffered. Although able to walk independently, she suffered visual, hearing, speech and cognitive impairments and would require 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Whilst the GP’s liability was disputed, his insurers agreed to settle the girl’s case on the basis of two thirds of the full value of her claim. She had a life expectancy to the age of 83 and the lump sum payment would be used to fund suitable housing, equipment and professional care for as long as she lived. £120,000 of the total would be paid to the girl’s parents as some compensation for the care they had given her. The settlement, which was negotiated by the girl’s legal team, was approved by the High Court.