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Medical Negligence

Our solicitors represented a young girl, Jasmine, (now 13 years old), who, at the time of her birth was deprived of oxygen resulting in her suffering from cerebral palsy. To further complicate matters, after her birth and during the time that she was on the neonatal intensive care unit she was erroneously administered medication intravenously that was intended for another patient. This caused her to fit and resulted in further brain damage. Jasmine was eventually diagnosed as suffering from a severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She had a limited life expectancy and was unable to feed, talk or sit up. She required 24 hour care which was initially provided mainly by her mother. Jasmine’s mother was a single mother and had another child to care for too. She had struggled on her own for many years carrying Jasmine up and down stairs in her small two up two down home and sitting with Jasmine all day and often through the night. The solicitor dealing with the case was successful in arguing that the injuries suffered by Jasmine were due to negligent care afforded to her at the time of her birth. As soon as liability, fault, had been conceded, the solicitor dealing with the case applied for an interim payment and was able to secure sufficient funds to enable a care regime to be put in place at Jasmine’s home and to buy a car for the family to take trips out in. A settlement was agreed out of court in the amount of £4.2m this was in consideration of Jasmine’s life expectancy being only up to the age of 15 years. The amount awarded enabled Jasmine’s mother to purchase a new home for the family and to have it suitably adapted. A specialist team of property locators and architects who had many years of experience in providing suitable accommodation for people with disabilities and special needs. Jasmine was able to go out on trips with her family for the first time in her life and they were also planning a long awaited holiday to Disneyland. The solicitor dealing with the case worked closely with the Court of Protection and financial advisors in order to ensure that the settlement fund would protect Jasmine’s needs for the remainder of her life. Jasmine’s mother was delighted that Jasmine could now benefit from activities and care that she had previously been denied and it also meant that she would not have to worry as much as to what would happen to Jasmine in the event that Jasmine would outlive her mother.

Our solicitors represented a father of three young children who after attending a family christening party was assaulted on his way back home. He suffered head injuries and was momentarily rendered unconscious. He was taken by ambulance, to the nearest A&E department where he was left waiting on a trolley bed for 5 hours. The staff attributed his apparent confusion and complaints of pain as being due to the fact that he had consumed some alcohol whilst at the party, this was despite, pleas from his wife that he had only had 2 pints and was not seemingly drunk. After a prolonged period he seemed to be lapsing back into unconsciousness and suddenly took a turn for the worse. He was transferred to the ICU, where he deteriorated and died a few hours later. With the help of expert Neurologists and Consultants in A&E medicine, the solicitor dealing with the case was able to establish that had he been provided with the correct treatment within an hour of his attendance at the A&E department then on the balance of probabilities this young father would have survived. The case was settled out of court for the sum of £542,000. Although this result would not bring her husband back nor the children their father, there was some comfort given to the family in that his death had been recognised and they would have some financial stability meaning that they could stay in their home and continue to mourn their father without the added financial pressure that his loss had brought. Further to the case concluding, the solicitor dealing with the case was instrumental in getting the A&E department of that hospital to review their policy for treatment of head injuries and to implement new guidelines for use in the event where the patient has been drinking.

  • Our solicitors represented the family of a 22 year old student who had attended hospital suffering from the symptoms of encephalitis. Unfortunately, the encephalitis was missed by the treating clinicians and as a consequence of their failure to provide this patient with timely and specific care she died. The solicitor dealing with the case obtained a number of specialist reports which identified the faults of the hospital in that the patient’s fever was initially wrongly attributed to a urinary tract infection, failure to realise that the patient had a febrile illness just because they were not febrile on admission, that is a failure to take a detailed history, ignoring other symptoms and signs of problems in reliance of a “normal” Glasgow Coma Scale assessment and failure to properly investigate in time by way of a scan/MRI. The case was very difficult in that the Defendants put forward the argument that the patient would have died in any event due to the inherent encephalitic condition and not due to any delay in treatment or negligence on their part. The solicitor dealing with the case obtained specialist expert reports from a leading expert in Neurological Microbiology and which certainly supported the case that earlier recognition and treatment of this patient’s case would have on the balance of probabilities saved her life. Although the success of the case did not bring their daughter back to them the parents of this young girl did receive some comfort by way of the acknowledgment from the Hospital Trust that the care that had been provided to their daughter was substandard and a well appreciated apology. The case settled for £21,600.
  • Peter aged 37 had damaged his nose during a car accident. He had a prominent nasal lump and slight malalignment of the cartilage. Peter opted to have this mainly cosmetic problem treated privately by a company who offered cosmetic surgery. He did as much research as possible before opting for a well known company who advertised nationally. He had an initial consultation and was told that he could have rhinoplasty later that same month. However, during the course of the operation the Plastic Surgeon slipped and fractured Peter’s skull with some surgical instrument. As a result Peter suffered from drainage of cerebrospinal fluid through the nose. He was immediately referred to a Neurosurgeon and underwent surgery to repair the fault. Although this second operation was a success, Peter still had some problems with loss of sensation due to nerve damage that he had sustained during the reparative procedure. Peter had been left with loss of sensation and nerve damage, together with a permanent craniotomy scar, something that is even more apparent due to the fact that Peter’s hair is thinning. The scar itself had healed in a raised, over granulated fashion, something which made Peter even more acutely aware of it’s existence. There was a possibility that further surgery might be able to remedy this, however, with this came the chance that the scar could be made worse. Peter developed a moderate depression following the operation for which the expert Psychologist suggested a course of 12 sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The solicitor dealing with the case settled this case without the need for court proceedings and Peter was awarded compensation in the sum of £39,500. This settlement award took into account the additional time that Peter ha had to take off work whilst he underwent the second operative procedure, the fact that he had to undergo a second operation (an anesthetic), the scar, the pain, injury and suffering and the loss of amenity that Peter suffered as a consequence. Peter was also provided with funds to take up a course of psychotherapy on a private basis and was awarded the cost of any further remedial surgery that he might choose to have with regards to revision of the scar. Peter’s case was conducted with the benefit of a ‘No Win No Fee’ Conditional Fee Agreement and did not cost him anything to pursue.
  • Our solicitors took over a case from another firm, the details of the case were that the client James had been admitted to hospital for a routine operation, but that there had been some errors in intubating him during the anaesthetic, the result of which entailed that James endured a period of hypoxia, that is restriction of oxygen and suffered brain damage in the form of a cognitive and spastic quadriplegia. The previous firm of solicitors did not have the knowledge or resources to pursue such a complex case and when James’s family approached the solicitor dealing with the claim the case had already been running for three years with very little progress. The solicitor dealing with the case was able to grasp the details of the case quickly and to obtain an array of expert reports addressing the negligence per se, James’s condition, his needs and his prognosis. The solicitor dealing with the case then involved a specialist barrister to advise in conference and through negotiations with the Defendant Hospital Trust, which had thus far been reluctant to concede any responsibility for James’s injuries, liability, that is fault, was admitted. The solicitor dealing with the claim quickly applied for an interim payment and managed to secure £140,000 which was used to put in place a full case management team to support James and his family. Further, a detailed program of rehabilitation was compiled and commenced by specialist professionals dedicated to helping James rebuild his life and resume working. This sum also provided for some much needed counseling to assist James in regaining his confidence and self-esteem and dealing with the failures of the hospital that affected his life so much. The final settlement was achieved in the sum of £2.8m and which was intended to help James live as full and supported life as possible. He is making great progress and has shown an interest in working within IT. James also now speaks to charities and other support groups to give other sufferers of brain injury or their families some ideas as to how to access specific help and deal with the specific issues that arise following injuries of this nature.
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