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A SCHOOLGIRL has received more than £1 million in compensation after being told to use eyedrops by one of the country's leading eye specialists when she had a tumour that has since left her blind.

The girl’s mother sued Ewan Kemp, a consultant opthalmic surgeon and service director of the Scottish Opthalmic Oncology Service at Glasgow's Gartnavel Hospital, for £10m at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Mr Kemp thought there was nothing physically wrong with the nine-year-old and referred her to a psychologist, the court heard.

However, another expert later discovered a tumour was distorting her vision and she was admitted to hospital for emergency surgery. The tumour was successfully removed, but the girl was left blind.

The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed, seven-figure sum, but Lord Brailsford had to give a ruling on expenses.

In his judgement Lord Brailsford said the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was noticed to have developed a squint. She was seen by an optician and by her GP, who referred her to a consultant.

"In May 2005, she was seen by Mr Kemp. In July, he performed surgery to correct the squint. In October, her teacher advised her parents that she was struggling to see the blackboard at school," said Lord Brailsford.

"Mr Kemp reviewed her case, apparently without seeing the child, and diagnosed a condition which would be cured by a short course of eyedrops.

"This course was followed but there was no improvement and her condition, in fact, deteriorated somewhat."

Just under a year later, Mr Kemp referred the girl to a child psychologist. She was later seen by another consultant opthalmologist and found to be suffering from a tumour in the pituitary gland which was putting pressure on her optic nerve and distorting her vision.

"She was admitted to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow as an emergency and on 11 September she underwent surgery for removal of the tumour which was, fortunately, successful but has left her blind," added Lord Brailsford. "That condition is, most unfortunately, irreversible and she will remain blind for the rest of her life."

He agreed the mother could claim higher expenses for an expert witness from America, but rejected her claim for expenses for the cost of setting up a trust fund for the girl.


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