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Lewis and Katie’s story: £80,000 Compensation following Death in Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital due to Meningitis

Our Clients, Lewis and Katie*, obtained £80,000 damages from Gateshead Health NHS Trust following the tragic death of their infant daughter due to a failure to diagnose and treat meningitis at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead.

Following the tragic death of their infant daughter, Lewis and Katie contacted and instructed Longden Walker and Renney to act on their behalf at an Inquest and to advise them about potential Claims for damages.

Our specialist solicitor, John Lowther, obtained copies of the relevant medical records, Trust’s incident reports and Trust’s statements.  He prepared witness statements on behalf of the family and identified medical experts willing to help investigate the Claim.

He attended a series of Pre-Inquest Review Hearings and took steps to prepare for the Inquest itself.  This involved identifying an appropriate barrister to appear on behalf of the family, preparing bundles of documents and meeting with the family to discuss the evidence and its implications.

He also obtained evidence that helped Lewis and Katie prove that they had suffered financial losses and expenses and had suffered psychiatric injury as a consequence of their daughter’s death in such circumstances.

Following receipt of a report from an independent Consultant Paediatrician, the Defendant Trust apologised to Lewis and Katie, admitted that there had been a Breach of its Duty of Care and subsequently entered into settlement negotiations.

The Claim for damages settled on a basis whereby Lewis and Katie received £80,000 compensation and had their basic reasonable legal fees and expenses paid by the Trust.

The report from the medical expert had concluded that the paediatric team should not have come to a firm diagnosis that Lewis and Katie’s daughter had been suffering with a urinary tract infection and discharged her home and that, had she received competent treatment, it’s likely that her death would have been avoided.

If meningitis is not treated competently, the results can be catastrophic.  Clinical negligence claim arising from substandard treatment of meningitis often concern a delay in recognising the infection and in starting treatment. 

Delayed treatment can result in death or serious injury.   It is important that those who have suffered as a consequence of substandard medical treatment are properly compensated.  This may involve investigation of complicated secondary victim Claims or sums associated with supporting someone with life changing injuries.

Representation at an Inquest can make a huge difference to those who have lost loved ones.  In this case, the family obtained an apology from the NHS Trust involved and it was important for them that the Coroner acknowledged the tragic nature of their daughter’s death when he concluded the Inquest.

Specialist legal advice concerning a Claim for damages can also be of enormous significance for those who have suffered as a result of medical negligence.  Compensation can cover the cost of medical treatment, equipment, education and care services that otherwise may not be available.

If, like Lewis and Katie, you have suffered bereavement or injuries due to a failure on the part of medical professionals to treat meningitis competently, it is important that you obtain expert legal advice as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact John Lowther by email at jlowther@longdens.co.uk or call us on 0191 5666 500. Alternatively, fill in our short enquiry form and one of our specialist solicitors will be in touch.

*A pseudonym used to protect the identify of our Clients

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