Family Resolves Claim for Meningitis Compensation after Hospital Apology

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Editor

A family from Essex has resolved its claim for meningitis compensation after an apology was read to them in court, prior to a judge approving a £5.5 million compensation settlement.

In the summer of 2005, Ellie Sutton was taken to Colchester Hospital by her concerned mother – Sarah – with a temperature of 39.9 degrees. Sarah was sent home by the hospital and told to return if Ellie´s temperature remained high – even though the correct procedure was to admit Ellie and monitor her hourly.

Sarah returned to Colchester Hospital with her eight-month-old daughter later that day; and, after Ellie had been seen by an A&E doctor, she was admitted into the hospital with the recommendation that the cause of her temperature should be investigated without delay. However, the cause of Ellie´s high temperature was not investigated until the evening rounds; by which time Ellie had suffered brain damage due to meningitis.

Ellie will need permanent care for the rest of her life due to the hospital´s negligence and, after getting legal advice from a solicitor, Sarah made a claim for meningitis compensation on her daughter´s behalf – alleging that had Colchester Hospital followed the correct procedures, Ellie´s brain damage could have been prevented.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust admitted that errors had been made in Ellie´s care and that had the correct procedures been followed Ellie would have made a full recovery. A settlement of compensation for meningitis due to hospital negligence was negotiated which consisted of a £2.4 million lump sum payment and further payments of £119,000 every year – a settlement worth approximately £5.5 million based on Ellie´s anticipated life expectancy.

At the High Court in London before Judge Anthony Seys-Llewellyn, the Sutton family heard a statement read to them by on behalf of the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust in which a representative of the hospital apologised for the lack of care which led to Ellie´s brain damage.

Judge Anthony Seys-Llewellyn approved the settlement and extended his best wishes to the family, saying “In a way this is the most painful day for you, because you have been thinking about what was intended to be”.


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