Compensation for family of Bracknell girl disabled by meningitis

A girl left disabled after she contracted meningitis as a toddler has won a multi-million pound compensation package following a High Court hearing.

Emma Harding, 10, requires lifelong care as the disease left her brain damaged in 2005, aged 15 months.

Her mother Natasha, from Bracknell, launched a damages claim against the family doctor.

Despite the doctor not admitting liability, his lawyers reached a compromise deal.

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

Natasha Harding launched a damages claim against GP, Dr Michael Tobin, of the Ringmead Medical Practice in Bracknell.

'No hesitation'

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 denied negligence, but his lawyers agreed to settle the girl's case on the basis of two-thirds of a full valuation of her claim.

Although damages have yet to finally assessed, the payout will seek to cover the costs of lifetime care, estimated to be more than seven figures.

The GP's barrister, George Hugh-Jones QC, read out a statement on his behalf.

"It is his sincere hope compensation following this agreement will provide important relief for her and her family," he said.

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.

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