Settlement of claim for hearing loss and cognitive injury caused by pneumococcal meningitis


A claim was made in relation to injuries sustained shortly after our client’s birth. Our client developed pneumococcal meningitis, which would have been avoided with appropriate treatment. Hearing loss was subsequently identified as a result of the infection.

An investigation began when our client was eight years old and, following receipt of supportive evidence, a claim for damages was made. The trust admitted that our client would not have contracted meningitis with appropriate treatment and that this had led to the hearing loss. Judgment was obtained and the case put on hold until the long-term consequences of the injury could be confirmed.

Whilst obtaining expert evidence on the impact of the hearing loss, a subtle but significant cognitive injury was identified. The trust denied that this was linked to the errors in treatment.

A settlement was reached without admission of liability for the cognitive injury. However, the value of the award was significantly more than would be expected for the hearing loss alone and includes funds which will be used to provide support at university and beyond, with a significant element of the funds reflecting likely loss of earnings.

After the settlement, our client's parents said: “We wanted to send you huge thanks for all your support over the many years of bringing our son’s case to settlement. Your patience, understanding and endurance greatly eased the process … most particularly knowing that this is the foundation of our son’s future in addressing all the challenges that life will bring … your support has enabled us also to provide him with the equipment and support to reach his brilliant progress to date. Thank you so much in so many ways."

Partner Stephanie Code led our team advising on this claim, assisted by senior paralegal Aline Constan.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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