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Girl set for large compensation payout

PUBLISHED: 14:34 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:08 05 July 2010

An eight-year-old girl facing a lifetime of disability yesterday won the right to millions of pounds in compensation.

Lawyers for Angela Frost blamed Gorleston's James Paget Hospital for failing to diagnose her condition 10 days before she suffered a devastating collapse at her home when she was less than a month old.

An eight-year-old girl facing a lifetime of disability yesterday won the right to millions of pounds in compensation.

Lawyers for Angela Frost blamed Gorleston's James Paget Hospital for failing to diagnose her condition 10 days before she suffered a devastating collapse at her home when she was less than a month old.

Angela, of Thorndon, near Eye, was left with brain injuries that led to quadriplegic cerebral palsy and acute learning difficulties.

She is now utterly dependent on her parents Desmond and Angela Frost and will need support for the rest of her life, London's High Court heard.

Her counsel, David Westcott QC, told the court that, while the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had not made any admission of liability, it had agreed to pay Angela 80pc of her damages claim.

Her exact payout is yet to be decided but lawyers have confirmed Angela will receive several million pounds.

According to court documents, Angela was born a few weeks prematurely in January 2000 and initially appeared to thrive. But a few days later her mother noticed she was “permanently sleepy” and beginning to lose weight. Mrs Frost noticed one of Angela's arms made jerky movements and her eyes “rolled and flickered.”

On February 1 2000 Angela's GP sent her to the James Paget Hospital where one doctor suggested colic, a thyroid problem or electrolyte imbalance could be causing Angela's problems.

But no clear diagnosis was made and Angela was discharged.

Mr Westcott said Angela then suffered “a very serious collapse” at home on February 12 2000. She was rushed to hospital but it was too late to save her from brain damage.

He said there had been a “mis-diagnosis or non-diagnosis” of Angela's condition at the hospital on February 1, and that the cause of her condition was a viral infection she had contracted before she was born.

He argued Angela would have escaped permanent disability if she had been treated with anti-viral drugs on her first admission to hospital, but the hospital disputes this claim.

Mr Justice Butterfield approved the financial compromise reached, and also agreed to an immediate payout of £75,000 to cover the short-term costs of Angela's care.

Defence lawyers paid tribute to the “care and commitment” of Angela's parents and said the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was pleased a compromise had been reached.

After the court hearing Wendy Slaney, medical director of the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trust is pleased that agreement has been reached with regard to Angela's claim. Our solicitors will now work with the family's solicitors in order to reach early agreement on compensation due to Angela and her family.”

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