Chloé was born on 4 April 2006. When she was five months old the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) was introduced into the UK immunisation programme to protect children against a bacteria which can cause meningitis, septicaemia and pneumomia. Chloé should have been offered the PCV as part of a “catch-up” programme, which was also introduced at the same time.
Unfortunately her GPs failed to include Chloé in the catch up programme. A further opportunity to include Chloé was lost when her Health Visitors failed to inform the GPs that Chloé had not had the vaccine. As a result of these failures, Chloé was not given the PCV and she subsequently developed pneumococcal meningitis and sadly died on 15 February 2007 when she was ten months old.
Samantha Critchley noted in the directories to have “devoted client care and strong legal expertise” pursued a claim for Chloé’s unnecessary pain and suffering and the psychiatric injury suffered by her parents, Amanda and Andrew, who witnessed her deteriorating condition at hospital.
They eventually had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off the life support when doctors advised Chloé would not survive.
Court proceedings were served in November 2010 and in March 2011, the Defendants agreed to judgment being entered. Somewhat surprisingly, later the same month, the Defendants wrote contesting the claim on behalf of Chloé’s parents. We went to court and successfully secured judgment for Amanda and Andrew at a contested hearing.
The claim was eventually settled for £180,000. The case was never about financial compensation. The parent’s principal aim was for lessons to be learned and for this never to happen to another family. As a result the parents’ complaints to the NHS Trust responsible for the Health Visitor’s omissions
conducted a full investigation and ensured that all GP practices in the area were warned of what happened to Chloé and how this should have been avoided.
After the case the parents thanked Sam for her “help, support and professionalism”. The case was conducted on a “No win, no fee” basis.
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