A girl left with disabilites for life has won a multi-million payout

Published: 15 Dec 2013 17:30

A GIRL left disabled for life after contracting meningitis won a multi-million pound compensation package at the High Court on Monday.

Emma Harding, 10, was a healthy, happy 15-month-old and had just learned to run when she was struck down by the devastating illness in 2005.

She suffered serious brain damage and has no chance of ever living an independent life.

She requires constant supervision, is in a wheelchair when away from her home and has impaired sight and hearing.

Her mother, teacher Natasha Harding, of Bracknell, launched a damages claim against family GP, Dr Michael Tobin, who worked at the Ringmead Medical Practice.

Despite there being no admission of liability, a compromise deal was struck with Emma guaranteed a massive damages payout to cover the costs of a lifetime’s care.

The family’s barrister, Derek Sweeting QC, told Judge Andrew Collender QC: “Emma is always going to need full time care and she will have a range of very diverse needs over her lifetime.”

In their claim, Emma’s family alleged Dr Tobin was negligent in failing to refer her to hospital before it was too late to prevent serious damage.

The GP denies negligence, but his lawyers agreed to settle Emma’s case on the basis of two-thirds of a full valuation of her claim.

Even after a one-third deduction, her compensation will run well into seven figures.

Dr Tobin’s barrister, George Hugh-Jones QC, read a statement on his behalf.

He said: “It is his sincere hope compensation following this agreement will provide important relief for her and her family,”

Judge Collender said he had “no hesitation” in approving the settlement.

The exact amount of Emma’s damages will be assessed at a further court hearing if no final agreement is reached before then.

Jump to first paragraph.