Girl awarded millions in compensation

A nine-year-old girl left needing round-the-clock care after suffering catastrophic brain damage from an undiagnosed virus was yesterday granted a multi-million pound compensation and care package.

A nine-year-old girl left needing round-the-clock care after suffering catastrophic brain damage from an undiagnosed virus was yesterday granted a multi-million pound compensation and care package.

Lawyers for Angela Frost blamed staff at James Paget Hospital, near Great Yarmouth, for failing to diagnose the condition, which left her with spastic quadriplegia and acute learning difficulties.

Despite denying clinical negligence, the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust agreed a settlement which will see Angela, of Stoke Ash Road, Thorndon, near Eye, receiving 80% of the full valuation of the claim.

And yesterday , after negotiations outside court, lawyers revealed at the High Court that the NHS Litigation Authority had agreed a sum in settlement which was in Angela's "best interests".

The multi-million pound settlement, the exact value of which has been kept confidential, will be made up of a substantial lump sum, along with yearly, index-linked and tax-free payments to fund her extensive care for the rest of her life.

Speaking outside court afterwards, her father, Desmond, said that he and Angela's mother, also called Angela, were "pleased" with the outcome, but declined to comment further.

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Approving the settlement, High Court judge, Mr Justice MacDuff, said he was "very happy" to let the case come to an end with a "very good" settlement for the family.

"Nothing can turn the clock back and all I can do is to approve the order and wish you and the rest of the family all the very best for the future," he told Mr Frost.

"You can look forward to the future with some security now."

Angela was born a few weeks prematurely in January 2000 and appeared to thrive and feed well.

But her parents soon noticed that she had become permanently sleepy and was losing weight and took her to see her GP on February 1, 2000.

The doctor arranged immediate admission to the hospital, where she was seen, but no clear diagnosis was made and she was discharged the same day.

On February 12, 2000, the baby suffered a collapse at home and was rushed to hospital, unfortunately too late to save her from brain damage.

Had the case gone to a High Court trial, lawyers were set to argue that the virus should have been diagnosed and treated earlier in order to prevent the damage.

But, in order to avoid a costly trial in London and the grave financial risk on both sides of a court defeat, the 80% basis settlement was agreed.

Although the bulk is in yearly payments, the settlement includes �225,000 in "general damages" to Angela for her "pain, suffering and loss of amenity" and �140,000 to her parents as some recognition of the years of devoted care they have given her.

Last night, a spokeswoman for the James Paget, said: “The Trust is pleased that this claim has now been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties and that appropriate long-term provision has been made for Angela and her family.”