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Home Maidstone News Article
Paddock Wood twins who caught a potentially deadly strain of the E.Coli bug have won compensation for the physical and emotional scars that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
In one of the worst outbreaks ever recorded, the youngsters were among more than 90 children struck down by the bacteria after visiting Godstone Farm in Surrey in August and September 2009.
Aaron Furnell, aged just two at the time, was the worst affected and ended up on dialysis for 35 days and in hospital for 40, London's High Court heard.
He also needed two blood transfusions and a platelet transfusion while his brother Todd was on dialysis for seven days.
Through their parents, Tracy Mock and Mike Furnell, they sued the farm's owner, Jacqueline Flaherty, who admitted full liability and whose insurers have agreed to a settlement where the children will receive thousands of pounds in damages.
The pair, plus eight others, also won the right to return to court for further pay-outs if their medical conditions deteriorate. Three have already developed chronic kidney disease, the court heard.
Lawyers have so far settled 35 cases totalling £1 million.
Judge Colin Mackay QC approved the settlements of the 10 most serious cases as "fair and sensible" and paid tribute to the courage of the children and parents.
Solicitor Jill Greenfield, of Field Fisher Waterhouse, said afterwards: "The horror of what these children and their families have been through is difficult for anyone to describe.
"I can see that a day out to a farm is for many seen as a chance to get back to nature... But for a day to end like this is utterly devastating.
"What angers parents even more is the fact that the farm remained open over the August bank holiday weekend, at a time when where was a level of knowledge that eE. Coli 0157 was around. How tragic that these young children were allowed to skip into this farm completely oblivious to the danger that awaited."
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