Eleven years ago Wonford native Jason Goby was a completely healthy five year old until his meningitis diagnosis was missed in a doctor visit. Jason suffered for a month until the rare ailment was correctly identified.
Due to this delay complications related to the disease left the young boy with permanent paralysis down one side of his body. Andrew Goby, the teenager’s father, made a personal injury claim against the doctor that missed the initial diagnosis. Mr Goby claimed that Dr Barrie Ferguson was negligent for neglecting to immediately refer young Jason to hospital. Dr Ferguson saw Jason at Exeter’s Wonford Green Lane Surgery, where the child had been taken to treat acute headaches.
Sir Robert Nelson of the High Court declared Dr Ferguson was guilty of negligence in Jason’s treatment. Otherwise the judge described the doctor as both competent and caring despite this one mistake.
The matter of Jason’s personal injury compensation has been settled out of court for an unreported sum. As a result the second hearing of the High Court for a decision regarding how much compensation the paralysed child would receive has been cancelled.
While the amount will not be publicly disclosed, many industry experts agree that lifetime care compensation claims can be very costly for the liable party. Many such claims can run into the millions of pounds if the victim’s quality of life has been permanently decreased as a result of their injuries.
The compensation awards for younger victims, especially children, can be especially high. This is because the life expectancy of the injured victim is taken into account in order to calculate the amount of compensation they will need to continue to have care provided for them for the rest of their lives.