Gainsborough girl '˜who was close to death' is awarded £1 million in damages

A battling Gainsborough girl who was so close to death after fighting meningitis that her family said their goodbyes has been awarded £1 million in damages.

Seven-year-old Alice-Rose Lloyd, from Gainsborough, contracted the ‘dreadful, insidious’ infection when she was just over a year old in February 2010.

She became so ill that an organ donation team was on standby because doctors didn’t expect her to make it.

But the plucky youngster beat the odds and survived.

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Her lawyers sued a GP for alleged ‘negligent treatment’, Judge Graham Wood QC told London’s High Court today (Monday, October 17).

The allegation was that ‘crucial signs were missed in the narrow window of opportunity’ before the disease took hold.

Had the doctor spotted the telltale signs, Alice-Rose would have been treated earlier and avoided her ‘catastrophic injuries’, her lawyers claimed.

The GP, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies all blame, but his medical insurers today agreed to a £1 million settlement of the claim.

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If the GP had admitted liability, the judge said Alice-Rose’s claim would undoubtedly have been ‘worth significantly more than that sum’.

But there had been a ‘vigorous defence on behalf of the GP’ and the settlement took into account litigation risks.

Judge Wood said: “Meningitis is a dreadful, insidious disease.

“The fortunate ones are those who get early diagnosis, which is not always easy to make.

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“It seems to me obvious this was going to be a perilous case to pursue.

“In the circumstances I have no hesitation at all in approving this settlement.”

He hoped the ‘substantial sum’ will ‘go some way to enhancing the life’ of Alice-Rose and was ‘’quite happy’ it was ‘an appropriate way of resolving this difficult case’.

The judge commended Alice-Rose’s dad, Phil Lloyd, who was at the hearing, who has been heavily involved in charity work in relation to meningitis.