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Acquired Brain Injury

Acquired brain injury

Allowing patient to leave a residential psychiatric clinic unescorted We have recently settled a case for £850,000. Allegations related to negligence in allowing the Claimant to leave the Priory Clinic unescorted leading to major multiple injuries.

Accident and Emergency Medicine

Below the knee amputation following missed diagnosis

We successfully brought a claim on behalf of a client on the basis of a negligent failure on the part of an A&E doctor to recognise the signs of critical ischaemia (blocked circulation) in our client’s leg. It was argued that if the signs of critical ischaemia had been identified, the below the knee amputation which our client required about a month later would have been avoided. Although the Defendant Trust eventually accepted that the signs of critical ischaemia should have been identified by the Accident & Emergency doctor, it was argued by the Trust that the need for a below the knee amputation would have arisen in any event. The Trust also argued, through its lawyers, that even if the need for amputation had been avoided at that particular time our client’s condition was such that an amputation would have been required within about two years in any event. These matters remained very much at issue throughout the case. Although court proceedings had to be issued the case finally concluded before trial with a settlement of £293,000.

Failure to monitor - fall from A&E trolley sustaining severe brain injury

We successfully recovered a significant sum of compensation for a gentleman who sustained a severe brain injury when he fell from a trolley in an A&E department as a result of inadequate care/monitoring.

Failure of A&E Department

We settled a case for a client where the A & E department failed to act on a blood test that had been taken from our client. If the A & E department had kept our client in hospital whilst they awaited the result of the blood test, then he would have been diagnosed with leukaemia and treatment immediately provided. The delay in diagnosis resulted in serious and permanent injuries for him. His case settled for £585,000.

Amputation

Above knee amputation

We have recently settled a case for £925,000. Our client suffered an above knee amputation due to the negligence of the defendant NHS Trust. Damages were obtained for accommodation to be adapted for our client, care, child care, prosthetics, rehabilitation and aids and appliances. A pre-trial settlement was agreed following a round table meeting.

Below the knee amputation following missed diagnosis

We successfully brought a claim on behalf of a client on the basis of a negligent failure on the part of an A&E doctor to recognise the signs of critical ischaemia (blocked circulation) in our client’s leg. It was argued that if the signs of critical ischaemia had been identified, the below the knee amputation which our client required about a month later would have been avoided. Although the Defendant Trust eventually accepted that the signs of critical ischaemia should have been identified by the Accident & Emergency doctor, it was argued by the Trust that the need for a below the knee amputation would have arisen in any event. The Trust also argued, through its lawyers, that even if the need for amputation had been avoided at that particular time our client’s condition was such that an amputation would have been required within about two years in any event. These matters remained very much at issue throughout the case. Although court proceedings had to be issued the case finally concluded before trial with a settlement of £293,000.

Negligent foot surgery

As a result of negligence during our client’s foot surgery the bones in our client’s feet did not fuse and our client had to undergo four subsequent unnecessary procedures culminating in the amputation of both feet. In addition to the obvious physical injury our client suffered significant psychological injury as a result of the negligence.

Anaesthetics

Our client underwent a routine ENT operation. A drug was inserted into his hand at the time of induction of anaesthetic. It led to nerve damage to his hand so that he had a permanent disability. The case settled for £18,000.

Birth Injury

Negligent delivery

We secured a full admission of liability and causation in a case involving injury at birth which left our client with cerebral palsy. We have since been able to obtain a substantial interim payment, enabling our client's family to appoint a case manager, purchase equipment and buy a new property. This has significantly improved their quality of life whilst they await a final settlement which is likely to be worth several million pounds. A partner from within the department has been appointed as professional receiver.

Negligence at the time of birth

Our client suffered cerebral palsy as a result of the negligent management of his birth. The negligence left him profoundly disabled with very limited movement and impairment of the development of his speech. However, his intellect was preserved and he has proved to be very bright. As a result of his profound physical injuries he will require care for the rest of his life. He also requires a range of aids and appliances, alternative accommodation with adaptations and technology assistance to enable hims to cope with his disability.

Agreed damages £1,500,000

Cancer

6-month delay in diagnosis of bowel cancer

The team secured compensation of £20,000 for an Eastbourne widower following the successful conclusion of his claim relating to the death of his wife, aged 57. It was alleged that the bowel cancer from wh

Delayed diagnosis of adenoid cystic carcinoma

We recovered £80,000 for delayed diagnosis of an adenoid cystic carcinoma between December 1997 and May 2001. By this time, the carcinoma had reached Stage III. Had our Client been diagnosed in December 1997, the tumour would have been a borderline Stage I/II. Our Client had to undergo a right total parotidectomy which caused facial nerve damage resulting in cosmetic disfigurement causing moderately severe psychological damage. Had the correct diagnosis been following examination in December 1997, she would probably have avoided the need for a total parotidectomy and only required a superficial parotidectomy which would have avoided nerve damage and facial disfigurement.

Delay in diagnosis

We were instructed to act for a client who was diagnosed with cancer of the neck. There was a delay in diagnosis of the cancer of around 3 months which meant that our client underwent much more radical surgery and required chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She had an injury to her shoulder caused by the extensive nature of the surgery that she needed. Her case was settled for £200,000.

Delay in diagnosis

We acted for a client who underwent radical surgery following a diagnosis of cancer of the vulva. We were initially instructed to investigate whether there was a delay in diagnosis of the cancer. A histopathologist was instructed and his opinion was that the biopsy result from which the diagnosis of cancer was made, had been misinterpreted and our client almost certainly did not require such radical surgery and could have been treated conservatively. Damages were recovered for our client of £42,000.

Skin Cancer

We acted for the widow of a man who died following the negligent management of a mole on his back. The GP was negligent when removing the mole, and the consequence of this was that the mole could not be examined properly at the pathology department. The diagnosis of a malignant melanoma was not made. We recovered £150,000 damages for our client.Failure to act on histology reportAs a result of negligence, our client underwent major surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer of the neck. If the relevant histology report had been properly considered diagnosis would have been made and our client would only have required a minor operation. As a consequence of the negligence, she suffers with severe pain and injury to her left arm which affects her on a day to day basis.

Agreed damages £150,000.

Delayed diagnosis of leukemia

We have recovered £585,000 damages where there was a delay in the diagnosis of leukaemia by an NHS Trust which had catastrophic consequences for our client. He is profoundly disabled by his injuries.

Cardiac surgery

Emergency cardiac surgery

Our client underwent emergency cardiac surgery when a heart valve was replaced. Immediately after surgery, our client developed problems with his left leg. There was a delay in diagnosing the fact that he had suffered with a blood clot in his leg which caused nerve and muscle and tissue damage. He is now permanently disabled due to the delay in diagnosis of the loss of blood supply to his leg. He was unable to work and required some adaptations to his house. A settlement was obtained of £245,000.

Cardiology

Emergency cardiac surgery

Our client underwent emergency cardiac surgery when a heart valve was replaced. Immediately after surgery, our client developed problems with his left leg. There was a delay in diagnosing the fact that he had suffered with a blood clot in his leg which caused nerve and muscle and tissue damage. He is now permanently disabled due to the delay in diagnosis of the loss of blood supply to his leg. He was unable to work and required some adaptations to his house. A settlement was obtained of £245,000.

Failure by GP to monitor diabetes and blood pressure

We acted for the widow of a man who died from a heart attack. He was a diabetic and there was a failure by his GP practice to monitor his diabetes and his blood pressure. This failure, over a long period of time, led to a significant deterioration in his cardiac function, and unfortunately he died from a major heart attack. Damages of £18,000 were recovered for his widow.

Consent to treatment

The firm acted in the landmark case on consent to treatment of Chatterson v Gerson and members of the team regularly advise clients in relation to potential claims for failures on the part of medical professionals to obtain properly informed consent.

Diabetes

Failure by GP to monitor diabetes and blood pressure

We acted for the widow of a man who died from a heart attack. He was a diabetic and there was a failure by his GP practice to monitor his diabetes and his blood pressure. This failure, over a long period of time, led to a significant deterioration in his cardiac function, and unfortunately he died from a major heart attack. Damages of £18,000 were recovered for his widow.

Drug administration

Gentamycin toxicity

We acted for a client with cystic fibrosis who suffered permanent damage to his vestibular function as a result of Gentamycin toxicity. The medication had been appropriately prescribed initially for a chest infection but it was alleged that there was a negligent failure to properly monitor the level of the medication in our client's blood. Liability was denied throughout. The Defendant also denied that our client was entitled to a claim for the loss of the opportunity to pursue a career as a footballer, arguing that his cystic fibrosis would have made this impossible anyway. This remained a live issue at the time of settlement for £50,000.

Negligent drug administration

We recovered damages of £10,465 for a young child who suffered an injury shortly after her delivery. A BCG vaccine was given which resulted in a swelling on the child's thigh. An abscess developed. Further medical treatment was required. She had an unpleasant indented scar. It was established that the vaccination was given by someone who was not qualified to give it. It was injected intramuscularly when it should have been injected intra-dermally. This resulted in a significant cosmetic defect.

Fatal claims

Failure to diagnose hypertension and prevent heart attack

The Team acted for the family of a Congolese man who sadly died from a heart attack which it was alleged should have been prevented by earlier diagnosis and treatment of the deceased's hypertension. Judgment was secured and Compensation of £200,000 was agreed. Allowance had to be made for the deceased's medical history which included glaucoma causing blindness in one eye and heart disease. It was agreed that his life expectancy would have been reduced by about 10 years in any event.

6-month delay in diagnosis of bowel cancer

The Team secured compensation of £20,000 for an Eastbourne widower following the successful conclusion of his claim relating to the death of his wife, aged 57. It was alleged that the bowel cancer from which his wife died should have been diagnosed some 6 months earlier and although it was accepted that death from the cancer was sadly inevitable it was alleged that earlier diagnosis would have prolonged her life. Liability was denied and there was argument about whether and by how long the deceased's life would have been extended following earlier diagnosis. The case concluded about 2 months before trial.

Cervical Cancer-delay in diagnosis

We acted for a widower where his wife had sadly died due to delay in diagnosis of cervical cancer. They had 2 young children. Damages were recovered of £310,000. The case was funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement.

Negligence

We acted for the widow of a man who died following the negligent management of a mole on his back. The GP was negligent when removing the mole, and the consequence of this was that the mole could not be examined properly at the pathology department. The diagnosis of a malignant melanoma was not made. We recovered £150,000 damages for our client.

GP negligence

Failure to diagnose hypertension and prevent heart attack

The Team acted for the family of a Congolese man who sadly died from a heart attack which it was alleged should have been prevented by earlier diagnosis and treatment of the deceased's hypertension. Judgment was secured and Compensation of £200,000 was agreed. Allowance had to be made for the deceased's medical history which included glaucoma causing blindness in one eye and heart disease. It was agreed that his life expectancy would have been reduced by about 10 years in any event.

Acute abdomen-delay in surgery

Damages of £21,000 were recovered for a client where there was a failure by her GP to refer her to hospital when she had an acute abdomen. There was delay in carrying out major surgery, the surgery was greater than it would otherwise have been, and she suffered with post traumatic stress and depression.

Gastroenterology

We have advised on a number of cases in this area, covering a wide range of issues including the the diagnosis and management of Crohns Disease.

Gynaecology

Bladder Injury from Hysterectomy

We have recovered £70,000 for a client who suffered bladder injury at the time of a hysterectomy at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Failure to diagnose ovarian cyst causing miscarriage

Our client attended hospital with severe abdominal pain when she was 20 weeks pregnant. As a result of a negligent failure to properly investigate the cause of her pain by way of ultrasound scan an ovarian cyst went undiagnosed for four days. As a result of the delay in diagnosis and subsequent surgical intervention our client's right fallopian tube and ovary had to be removed. She also had to undergo a much more complicated surgical procedure than would otherwise have been the case and the extent of bleeding sustained during surgery led to a miscarriage on the following morning.

Negligence in respect of the four day delay in diagnosis was eventually admitted. Investigations carried out during the course of the claim confirmed that our client's remaining fallopian tube was unobstructed and that it would be possible for her to naturally conceive in the future. Expert evidence confirmed that our client had suffered a significant psychiatric disorder over and above an ordinary grief reaction. A settlement of £24,500 was agreed.

Damage to ureter during hysterectomy

Our client underwent a radical hysterectomy following a diagnosis of cervical cancer. During the hysterectomy she sustained damage to one of her ureters and it was alleged that this damage was as a result of negligence during surgery. It was further alleged that there was negligence in her subsequent urological treatment in that a stent was inserted (and later replaced) into the ureter when this was not necessary; that the stent was retained in the ureter for an inappropriate length of time; and our client developed repeated infections as a result.

Further negligence was alleged in respect of a failure to screen for infection prior to various procedures to change the ureteric stent. On one occasion, as a result of the failure to screen for infection, our client suffered a life threatening septicaemia for which she required prolonged treatment in Intensive Care.

As a result of the alleged negligence our client suffered unnecessary physical injury which had more or less settled at the time of settlement and psychological injury. Following the issue of proceedings an out of court settlement was agreed in the sum of £57,500.

Negligent performance of hysterectomy

Our client pursued a claim for the negligent failure to completely remove her cervix during a total abdominal hysterectomy. As a result of the negligence she had to undergo emergency removal of the cervix, after which she suffered significant complications requiring further extensive surgery. The complications of surgery endangered our client's life and, in addition to the physical injury, our client suffered post traumatic stress disorder and depression. She was unable to return to work and required treatment for her psychiatric symptoms.

Agreed settlement: £54,523

Failure to diagnose ovarian cysts

Our client pursued a claim in relation to a 13-month delay in diagnosis of ovarian cysts which occurred despite various ultrasound scans having been undertaken. Our client's condition was misdiagnosed as a bladder problem and she had to undergo painful and distressing intermittent catheterisation. The surgery that she eventually required following diagnosis would have been required even if a timely diagnosis had been made.

Agreed settlement: £6,000

Haematology

Leukaemia-delay in diagnosis

We acted for a client who suffered a delay in diagnosis of leukaemia. Allegations were made regarding the management of his leukaemia. He suffered catastrophic damages, damage was recovered of £585,000.

Inquests

Death following complications of knee replacement procedure

Our client's late husband contracted MRSA at the site of a knee replacement. Although the infection was treated with appropriate antibiotics the infection recurred on several occasions and ultimately necessitated the amputation of the deceased's leg. Unfortunately the deceased had been so weakened by the effects of the recurrent infection that he ultimately succumbed to bronchopneumonia before he was able to leave hospital. The deceased was hospitalised for seven months, much of it in isolation, from the knee replacement procedure to the date of his untimely death. We represented our client at the Inquest into her husband's death. Following the Inquest it was admitted by the Defendant Trust that the deceased should have been screened for MRSA before the knee replacement procedure. It was, however, denied by the Trust that this would have made any difference. The Trust argued, through its lawyers, that the MRSA infection would have occurred in any event. Although the Defendant continued to deny that any negligence had caused the death it was ultimately persuaded to settle the claim for £32,500

We are regularly instructed to represent bereaved families at Inquests in circumstances where there is a suggestion that death of a relative has resulted from shortcomings in medical care.

Kidney disease

Failure to treat kidney disease

Our client lost her kidney due to the failure by an NHS Trust to investigate her kidney symptoms. Her claim was funded by a conditional fee agreement and her case proceeded to trial in London. Judgment was awarded in her favour with costs.

Damages awarded by the court: £25,914.16

Nerve damage

Removal of brachial cyst

We recovered damages of £85,700 for a client who underwent surgery for the removal of a brachial cyst. It was discovered after the surgery that our client had suffered paralysis of the nerve supplying the left side of the trapezius muscle. This led to considerable pain and disability for our client. Her employment opportunities were affected due to her significant disability.

Neurology

Members of our team regularly advise on potential claims relating to treatment provided by neurologists. Potential claims relate to a variety of issues including the failure to make an earlier diagnosis of subarachnoid haemorrhage or brain tumour.

Neurosurgery

Removal of brachial cyst

We recovered damages of £85,700 for a client who underwent surgery for the removal of a brachial cyst. It was discovered after the surgery that our client had suffered paralysis of the nerve supplying the left side of the trapezius muscle. This led to considerable pain and disability for our client. Her employment opportunities were affected due to her significant disability.

Obstetrics

Negligent care causes baby's death

We have recovered the sum of £48,000 for a couple who lost their baby when he was 4 days old as a result of negligent care at the time of his birth. The compensation reflected their psychological injury and loss of earnings.

Wrongful Birth – Inadequate screening during the ante-natal period

Our Clients claim was for wrongful birth of her 2nd child. She received the sum of £70,000.

The Client gave birth to her 1st child on 11.05.95. He was born prematurely and suffered developmental delay. No precise diagnosis of his condition had been formulated. Our Client became pregnant again in March 1998. She attended her GP and expressed concerns at the prospect of giving birth to a 2nd child with developmental problems and that she wanted to undergo all and any tests to exclude this. The GP referred to Eastbourne District General Hospital but did not include within his referral letter any information about the Claimant’s 1st child, his disability or relay to the Consultant the mother’s concerns as to having a 2nd disabled child and her wish to undergo ante-natal tests to exclude this.

At the booking appointment and throughout the pregnancy our Client’s evidence was that she informed those caring for her at the hospital of her 1st child’s disability, expressed her concerns about having a 2nd disabled child and requested all and any tests that were available to exclude any disability to her unborn child. There was no evidence within the records of this and there was a factual dispute over whether and what information the mother gave to those caring for her in her subsequent pregnancy. It was also investigated to what extent, irrespective of any concerns raised whether there should have been any ante natal testing due to the fetal condition.

Our Client’s 2nd child was born prematurely by emergency caesarean section. She was diagnosed as suffering from a terminal deletion of the long arm of chromosome 10. The consequences of this defect have been a marked developmental delay with mild facial deformities and a neurogenic bladder. She also had behavioural problems. Evidence obtained confirmed that this abnormality would have been revealed by way of an amniocentesis. Our Client’s evidence was that had this abnormality been revealed she would have undergone a termination.

Failure to diagnose ovarian cyst causing miscarriage

Our client attended hospital with severe abdominal pain when she was 20 weeks pregnant. As a result of a negligent failure to properly investigate the cause of her pain by way of ultrasound scan an ovarian cyst went undiagnosed for four days. As a result of the delay in diagnosis and subsequent surgical intervention our client’s right fallopian tube and ovary had to be removed. She also had to undergo a much more complicated surgical procedure than would otherwise have been the case and the extent of bleeding sustained during surgery led to a miscarriage on the following morning.

Negligence in respect of the four day delay in diagnosis was eventually admitted. Investigations carried out during the course of the claim confirmed that our client’s remaining fallopian tube was unobstructed and that it would be possible for her to naturally conceive in the future. Expert evidence confirmed that our client had suffered a significant psychiatric disorder over and above an ordinary grief reaction. A settlement of £24,500 was agreed.

Post traumatic stress

We acted for parents who experienced a distressing incident shortly after the delivery of their baby at an obstetric unit. A doctor rushed into the delivery suite and advised everyone that the baby had died. In fact this was incorrect. As a consequence, our clients suffered with post traumatic stress caused by this information. Damages were recovered for each of our clients of £20,000.

Haemorrhage following childbirth

Our client suffered with a serious haemorrhage following delivery of her son. The hospital failed to act on her symptoms and bleeding for a considerable time. Our client endured a very distressing period during the delay and suffered from a psychiatric injury. Settlement was agreed of £9,000.

Brain injury at birth

We acted for the family of a young man who suffered a brain injury at birth. He was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Damages were recovered of £800,000.

Post partum haemorrhage

We obtained £9,000 damages for a client who suffered serious post partum haemorrhage after the delivery of her son. She had a minor psychiatric injury as a result of this.

Alleged negligence

We recovered £17,000 for our client, a young mother whose child was tragically stillborn as a result of alleged negligence. As the law currently stands parents of a stillborn child are not entitled to the statutory bereavement award. The agreed settlement reflected the significant psychiatric injury suffered by our client as a result of the death of her child.

Wrongful birth

Our client gave birth to a child with developmental delay caused by a chromosomal abnormality. It was alleged that our client’s GP and consultant were negligent in failing to advise her to undergo an amniocentesis, which would have detected the abnormality and allowed our client to have a termination. Although the defendants vigorously contested liability we were able to negotiate a significant pre trial settlement.

Agreed damages: £75,000

Ophthalmology

Delay in diagnosis-alleged photophobia

We acted for a client with Down's Syndrome who it was alleged suffers with photophobia as a result of a delay in diagnosing pupil capture suffered during eye surgery. It was alleged that permanent damage to the pupil and iris occurred as a result of a 6-year delay in diagnosing and treating the pupil capture. The Defendant denied any liability. Damages of £13,750 were agreed and this settlement was subsequently approved by the court.

Orthopaedics

Death following complications of knee replacement procedure

Our client’s late husband contracted MRSA at the site of a knee replacement. Although the infection was treated with appropriate antibiotics the infection recurred on several occasions and ultimately necessitated the amputation of the deceased’s leg. Unfortunately the deceased had been so weakened by the effects of the recurrent infection that he ultimately succumbed to bronchopneumonia before he was able to leave hospital. The deceased was hospitalised for seven months, much of it in isolation, from the knee replacement procedure to the date of his untimely death. We represented our client at the Inquest into her husband’s death. Following the Inquest it was admitted by the Defendant Trust that the deceased should have been screened for MRSA before the knee replacement procedure. It was, however, denied by the Trust that this would have made any difference. The Trust argued, through its lawyers, that the MRSA infection would have occurred in any event. Although the Defendant continued to deny that any negligence had caused the death it was ultimately persuaded to settle the claim for £32,500

Infection contracted at time of surgery

Our client underwent surgery to lengthen his right leg and thereby correct a discrepancy in leg lengths, which had been causing him significant back pain. Unfortunately our client contracted an infection in the operation wound and went on to require numerous subsequent procedures to deal with the infection and ultimately the leg lengthening procedure had to be reversed.

It was alleged, and admitted by the Defendant, that it was negligent not to have operated on our client in a non clean air theatre; that it was negligent for a key member of the surgical team to have been on-call and therefore called away during what was a complex procedure; and that it was negligent not to have followed the advice of the microbiology consultant regarding appropriate antibiotics. However, it was contended by the Defendant that our client would have suffered an infection in any event; that the vast majority of our client’s symptoms were the result of a pre-existing back injury and not the infection; and that the only consequence of the admitted negligence was that it took longer to control the infection than would otherwise have been the case. These issues remained in dispute, but it was possible to negotiate an out of court settlement in the sum of £200,000.

Hip replacement

We successfully recovered £30,000 for a lady who suffered injury as a result of alleged negligence during revision of a total hip replacement. The allegations related to surgical care, technique and management of infection post operatively.

Negligent Shoulder Replacement

We successfully recovered £13,000 for injury sustained when undergoing Shoulder replacement surgery which included the need to undergo unnecessary revision surgery of left shoulder replacement. It was alleged that as a result of negligent care the Surgeon broached the cortex of the humerus when undergoing left elbow replacement surgery resulting in mild protrusion, slight immobility at extremes of movement and an increased risk that the prosthesis will loosen resulting in the need to undergo further revision surgery.

Hip replacement

We acted for a claimant who underwent a hip replacement operation. The surgery caused injury to the sciatic nerve and our client had a foot drop. This was debilitating to her as it reduced her mobility, made her less safe and her house became unsuitable because of the number of steps and its location. Damages were recovered of £55,000.

Paediatrics

Delay in diagnosis-appendicitus

We acted for the parents of a young child who was admitted to hospital with abdominal symptoms. There was delay in diagnosing appendicitis. Their child's appendix perforated and sadly he died following surgery. Damages were paid of £10,000.

Plastic surgery

Alleged negligence

We acted for a client in respect of potentially negligence in the performance of a surgery to remove unwanted fleshy tissue from beneath the eye. Liability was vehemently denied by the Defendant surgeon throughout. A settlement of £7,500 was agreed

Breast implant surgery

We have acted for a client who underwent breast implant surgery. Unfortunately, she was unwell at the time and was not fit to undergo surgery. However, the plastic surgeon failed to obtain the necessary information to discover that she was unfit for surgery. The outcome of the operation was very poor. Damages were recovered of £20,000.

Trilucent Group Litigation

We acted for a number of the claimants in the Trilucent Group Litigation. The average damages recovered were £5,000.

Psychiatric / Psychological Injury

Cremation of child without parental consent

At settlement has been reached in a case involving psycholgical injury to parents to learning that their son had been cremated without their knowledge or consent. The compensation reflected the additional psychological injury caused to both parents and an award for their ongoing therapy costs.

Negligent care causes baby's death

We have recovered the sum of £48,000 for a couple who lost their baby when he was 4 days old as a result of negligent care at the time of his birth. The compensation reflected their psychological injury and loss of earnings.

Negligent performance of hysterectomy

Our client pursued a claim for the negligent failure to completely remove her cervix during a total abdominal hysterectomy. As a result of the negligence she had to undergo emergency removal of the cervix, after which she suffered significant complications requiring further extensive surgery. The complications of surgery endangered our client’s life and, in addition to the physical injury, our client suffered post traumatic stress disorder and depression. She was unable to return to work and required treatment for her psychiatric symptoms.

Agreed settlement: £54,523

Delayed diagnosis of adenoid cystic carcinoma

We recovered £80,000 for delayed diagnosis of an adenoid cystic carcinoma between December 1997 and May 2001. By this time, the carcinoma had reached Stage III. Had our Client been diagnosed in December 1997, the tumour would have been a borderline Stage I/II. Our Client had to undergo a right total parotidectomy which caused facial nerve damage resulting in cosmetic disfigurement causing moderately severe psychological damage. Had the correct diagnosis been following examination in December 1997, she would probably have avoided the need for a total parotidectomy and only required a superficial parotidectomy which would have avoided nerve damage and facial disfigurement.

Psychiatry

Allowing patient to leave a residential psychiatric clinic unescorted

We have recently settled a case for £850,000. Allegations related to negligence in allowing the Claimant to leave the Priory Clinic unescorted leading to major multiple injuries including a severe head injury as a result of a suicide attempt. Interestingly, this involved allegations that the patient should not have been allowed to leave the Clinic unescorted even though he was not at the time detained under the Mental Health Act.

Rheumatology

Members of the medical negligence team regularly advise on potential claims relating to this area of medicine.

Spinal cord injury

Delayed diagnosis of spinal TB infection

Our client brought a claim on the basis that there had been a negligent delay in diagnosing his spinal TB infection. We secured an admission from the Defendant that the infection should have been diagnosed six months earlier, but the Defendant Trust obtained expert evidence to the effect that even if the diagnosis had been made at an earlier stage our client's disability would have been identical. We argued that earlier diagnosis would probably have avoided the subsequent spinal collapse and the associated disability suffered by our client. The Defendant argued that the spinal collapse would have happened in any event. These issues remained hotly contested throughout the case, which concluded with an out of court settlement in the sum of £150,000.

Delayed diagnosis of infection

We secured £950,000 for our client (aged 63) who was left severely disabled and wheelchair bound as a result of a negligent failure to diagnose a spinal infection. He retains some function in his upper body, but requires significant assistance with day to day living.

Stillbirth

Failure to diagnose ovarian cyst causing miscarriage

Our client attended hospital with severe abdominal pain when she was 20 weeks pregnant. As a result of a negligent failure to properly investigate the cause of her pain by way of ultrasound scan an ovarian cyst went undiagnosed for four days. As a result of the delay in diagnosis and subsequent surgical intervention our client's right fallopian tube and ovary had to be removed. She also had to undergo a much more complicated surgical procedure than would otherwise have been the case and the extent of bleeding sustained during surgery led to a miscarriage on the following morning.

Negligence in respect of the four day delay in diagnosis was eventually admitted. Investigations carried out during the course of the claim confirmed that our client's remaining fallopian tube was unobstructed and that it would be possible for her to naturally conceive in the future. Expert evidence confirmed that our client had suffered a significant psychiatric disorder over and above an ordinary grief reaction. A settlement of £24,500 was agreed.

Psychiatric injury

As a result of the death of her child, our client suffered with a significant psychiatric injury. An early admission of liability and causation was made by the Trust. Our client was seen by a psychiatric expert. A settlement was agreed of £17,500.

Hospital negligence

Our client was a young woman who was admitted to hospital with her first pregnancy. The allegations against the hospital included a failure to monitor the deliver; if there had been proper monitoring, the deterioration and distress of the baby would have been identified and he would have been born much sooner. He would then have survived.

Surgery

Appendicitis

We recovered £55,000 for our client whose claim related to negligent care and management of appendicitis. The allegations included a delay and failure to diagnose and treat the appendicitis and a failure to actually remove the infected appendix resulting in significant post operative complications. The Claimant suffered physical and psychological injury and had to undergo unnecessary surgery with resultant scarring.

Compartment Syndrome following bowel surgery

We obtained £100,000 for our client who suffered compartment syndrome following major bowel surgery. his resulted in permanent damage to his leg causing significant pain and disability. Liability was vigorously contested throughout by the Defendant and the extent of our client's financial losses resulting from the alleged negligence was also hotly disputed. It was, however, possible to negotiate a settlement following the issue of proceedings.

Transgender surgery

Unsuccessful transgender surgery

We have settled a case for a client who underwent transgender surgery which was unsuccessful. This resulted in a very poor outcome in terms of the surgery - in essence the surgery had failed. This led to serious consequences for the claimant who requires major additional surgery and has suffered from psychiatric injury as a result. The claim settled for £77,500.

Urology

Damage to ureter during hysterectomy

Our client underwent a radical hysterectomy following a diagnosis of cervical cancer. During the hysterectomy she sustained damage to one of her ureters and it was alleged that this damage was as a result of negligence during surgery. It was further alleged that there was negligence in her subsequent urological treatment in that a stent was inserted (and later replaced) into the ureter when this was not necessary; that the stent was retained in the ureter for an inappropriate length of time; and our client developed repeated infections as a result.

Further negligence was alleged in respect of a failure to screen for infection prior to various procedures to change the ureteric stent. On one occasion, as a result of the failure to screen for infection, our client suffered a life threatening septicaemia for which she required prolonged treatment in Intensive Care.

As a result of the alleged negligence our client suffered unnecessary physical injury which had more or less settled at the time of settlement and psychological injury. Following the issue of proceedings an out of court settlement was agreed in the sum of £57,500.

Vascular Surgery

This is an area that regularly features in claims the team is asked to advise on, frequently in relation to the potentially negligent delay in referral to a vascular surgeon. We have also been asked to look at claims relating to the standard of surgical care provided.


Valuing a Claim

If you have suffered significant injury as a result of medical negligence you are entitled to claim compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused (general damages) and for any financial expenses arising out of the injury (special damages).

Each claimant is different and the value of a claim will depend on the personal circumstances of the individual claimant prior to the negligence and the particular way in which his or her life has been affected by the negligence. In addition to analysing the medical evidence, our clinical negligence solicitors spend time getting to know our clients to ensure we are in the best position to assess the impact of the negligence and to quantify the claim.

General damages

The level of general damages varies enormously from case to case, depending on the severity and duration of the injury resulting from the medical negligence. General damages in cases involving permanent brain injury can be in excess of £200,000 whereas cases involving, for example, relatively minor scarring could result in general damages significantly less than £5,000. Determining an appropriate figure for general damages entails detailed analysis of the medical evidence, judicial guidelines and previous decisions of the court.

Special damages

Special damages are the specific expenses a claimant has incurred or will incur as a result of medical negligence. Special damages commonly include cost of travel to and from medical appointments; loss of earnings; cost of care and therapies required as a result of injury; the cost of alternative accommodation or transport required as a result of disability; and the cost of surgery required as a result of the alleged negligence. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and special damages can include any expense incurred as a result of medical negligence. All aspects of the claim have to be supported by evidence.

If the claimant has suffered severe injuries it can be a complex exercise establishing exactly what the claimant will need in the future as a result of the negligence. Our expertise in conducting clinical negligence claims of this kind will ensure that all potential aspects of the claim are identified and that the necessary expert evidence is obtained.

Fatal accidents

Medical negligence can sometimes tragically result in loss of life and in these circumstances it is possible for the family and/or dependants of the deceased to pursue a medical negligence claim. There are special rules governing what compensation is recoverable in a fatal case. It may be possible to recover:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Bereavement award, currently set at £12,980 for deaths occuring from April 2013 - it is only possible to recover the bereavement award where the claimant is the deceased’s spouse or parent in cases where the deceased was under 18 at the time of death.
  • Loss of special care and attention. In cases involving the loss of a parent or spouse the court has the discretion to make a small award under this heading.
  • Loss of dependency on services. If the deceased made a significant contribution to the family household a claim can be made for the cost of or the time spent replacing the deceased’s services. This aspect of the claim will be particularly important if the deceased was the primary carer for children or a disabled relative.
  • Loss of financial dependency. If the family and dependants had been reliant on the deceased’s income during his or her lifetime it is possible to claim for the corresponding loss of income. Children of the deceased are generally only able to make such a claim for as long as they are likely to remain in full-time education.

For some examples of the awards we have recovered on behalf of our clients please see our cases.

For more information on valuing a clinical negligence claim contact the Clinical Negligence Team today.

Contact Us

Primary Contact

Melanie  Minter
Melanie Minter

Partner

T | 01273 223205
E | mminter@mayowynnebaxter.co.uk

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Specialist Units

Catastrophic Injury Unit

Helping you understand spinal and brain injury claims

The Medical Negligence Team at Mayo Wynne Baxter launched the dedicated Catastrophic Injury Unit in April 2006. The unit consists of a team of medical negligence solicitors who specialise in complex brain and spinal injury claims, and possess a wealth of experience in working with children and adults with these conditions.

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Our many years of practice in injury and medical negligence litigation, has given our brain and spinal injury lawyers a clear and precise understanding of the complex medical and legal issues associated with claims of this nature.

We also acknowledge the enormous day to day difficulties that victims of such serious injuries have to endure. We act professionally and sensitively to ensure that your spinal or brain injury claim is successful.

We have developed an extensive network of industry experts, including barristers, medical practitioners, care experts and case managers who work closely with our team of spinal and brain injury lawyers.

Our expert brain and spinal Injury solicitors will aim for maximum compensation

If we can prove negligence we will work closely with the families of the claimant and other experts to ensure that your compensation is maximised.

We recognise that the culmination of a claim with an award of compensation does not mark the end for either the claimant or the claimant’s family. Brain injury claimants will often be awarded considerable sums of money that require careful investment to ensure that the claimants’ various needs are met. We offer a Deputyship service whereby we will shoulder the considerable burden of managing the claimant’s care requirements and overseeing the investment of the claimant’s compensation.

Not only does this relieve the claimant and his or her family of the considerable stress associated with management of the compensation fund, but it also gives the peace of mind that the Deputy is an expert solicitor familiar with the medical and practical issues for these conditions.

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Mental Incapacity

What is a Deputy?

Deputy is the name given to a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the legal and financial affairs of a person who has lost the mental capacity to do so themselves. This loss of mental capacity is often caused by age related senility but can also arise from catastrophic brain injury.

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A Deputy is required where no Attorney has been appointed by either an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney. Once appointed the Deputy must act at all times in the best interests of the Protected Person. The Deputy can be a family member, friend or professional.

What does a Deputy Do?

The Deputy has control of the legal and financial assets of the Protected Person’s financial affairs. The Deputy will manage these to meet the Protected Person’s income and expenditure needs. The Deputy’s role is defined by the terms of the order from the Court of Protection.

How we can help?

We can assist in advising individuals appointed as Deputies. Our team also includes experienced professional Deputies when required. Our clients include those with more complicated needs arising from brain injury as well as the elderly. The team includes both specialists in Deputy and Court of Protection matters and litigation experts.

Catastrophic Brain Injury

Sadly, sometimes the need for a Deputy arises because of a catastrophic brain injury, either at birth or through a later accident. The Protected Person may have been awarded damages following successful litigation arising from the injury. The appointment of a Deputy will usually be required before the litigation concludes, so that the Deputy can immediately start to use the funds for the benefit of the Protected Person.

The financial needs of those who have suffered a brain injury may be extremely complicated and their needs may continue for years. The level of injury can vary from mild learning difficulties to complete dependency and the sums involved can range from a few hundred thousand pounds to several million.

The Deputy is likely to play a significant role in the life of the brain injured person and may have to deal with a range of issues that may include:
• Accommodation 
• Employing carers
• Liaising with an appointed case manager to arrange therapy, education or employment
• Managing an investment portfolio
• Tax issues
• Completing reports for the Court of Protection
• Applications to the Court of Protection for Court orders
• Dealing with any other legal or financial issues as they arise.

Advantages of a Professional Deputy

A professional Deputy may be granted wide powers by the Court of Protection while the powers granted to a family member may be more limited. This may make things much simpler when dealing with the Protected Person’s affairs.

The involvement of a professional Deputy may also enable parents of a brain injured child to focus on their role as parents rather than taking on the duties of employer, financial adviser, accountant etc.

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Inquest Representation Service

Our medical negligence specialists have extensive experience of representing bereaved families at Coroners’ Inquests into deaths occurring in a healthcare setting or following medical treatment. The Inquest will inevitably involve consideration of circumstances which are extremely distressing and, in addition, the complex medical and legal considerations make it a daunting and stressful prospect. 

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Our team of specialist lawyers are experienced in making an unavoidably difficult process as manageable as possible and, importantly, they will ensure that there is a full investigation of the difficult questions about how the death came about. The Inquest can also be used, in certain cases, as a means of ensuring that similar deaths are prevented in the future. 

Public funding (legal aid) is only very rarely available for representation at an Inquest and it is therefore likely that the following alternative funding arrangements will need to be considered: 

- Private funding: In privately funded cases we will agree a fixed fee to ensure that there is certainty about our fees at the outset. 

- Insurance: Occasionally funding for representation at an Inquest will be available through a pre-existing legal expenses insurance policy.

- Conditional Fee Agreement: (CFA):  In certain circumstances we may agree to act under a CFA.

We will discuss your funding options in detail at an initial meeting, which we offer free of charge. 

For further information regarding our Inquest representation services please contact Robert Bell.

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Accreditations

SRA Clinical Negligence Panel
Top Ranked
AVMA
APIL Accredited Practice