Lowestoft compensation bid is rejected by court

A 10-year-old Lowestoft boy left facing a lifetime of disability by a bout of meningitis when he was a baby was told he will go with a penny of compensation yesterday.

Kieran Doy was struck down with meningitis in 2002 when he was a few weeks old - leaving him partially paralysed, unable to speak and with learning difficulties.

Yesterday Kieran and his family lost a High Court bid to get compensation after it ruled out a multi-million pound claim over the way Kieran was not diagnosed with having meningitis when he was taken to Lowestoft Hospital.

His mother Joanne Doy had claimed that Kieran was sent home from Lowestoft Hospital without a proper examination after his parents had walked two and half miles with their son there as they were worried he was constantly crying and had difficulty feeding.

He was diagnosed two days later after Kieran was taken back there.

Mrs Doy, whose address was given in court as Pakefield, Lowestoft, claimed that the GP on the first visit, Dr Kathleen Gunn, was only with Kieran for two or three minutes, did not even touch or examine him and did not even take his all-in-one baby suit off.

However Mr Justice Owen, sitting at the High Court in London, dismissed the damages claim as it was not proved there had been a breach of duty on the part of Dr Gunn.

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Mr Justice Owen said he preferred the evidence of the GP, who while having no memory of the Kieran's visit, had pointed to contemporaneous notes and said she would have carried out a careful examination of the baby.

The judge said: 'It was rightly not suggested ...that Mrs Doy was not giving what she believed to be a truthful account of what happened during the period in question, now over 10 years ago.

'I have no doubt she was doing her best to remember what happened.

'But the contemporary records provide a reliable bench mark against which to test her recollection and that of Kieran's father.'

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