Recent Medical Negligence Cases
Mrs X started to suffer abdominal pains and nausea in 2008 and despite numerous hospital visits and many investigations they failed to diagnose her Crohn’s disease until she required an emergency operation at the end of 2012. Following a lengthy recovery she commenced a legal action against the NHS.
Liability was denied in full until they filed their Defence to the Court Proceedings in 2018. It was finally agreed in mid 2019 that they should have diagnosed in January 2011. Had she received the correct treatment in January 2011 Mrs X would have gone on to lead a normal life. In the event she became very poorly and had difficulty mobilising. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease are often misdiagnosed or ignored until extensive surgery is required which could have been avoided had medics taken more notice of the often obvious symptoms.
When the experts for each side met and the Defendant’s experts pretty much agreed with the Claimant’s experts, the NHS finally asked for a mediation. The claim was settled at this point at £2.5 million.
Mr M was only 17 when he underwent successful anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery. Several days later he reattended the hospital as he was concerned about redness around the knee, difficulty in bending it and generally feeling unwell. Infection was suspected and swabs obtained. Despite the suspicion of infection, and swabs yielding positive results, the Claimant was not contacted. He returned to hospital 2 weeks later with septic arthritis. He underwent 6 washout procedures of the knee under general anaesthetic and the ACL graft had to be removed. He is likely to require a knee replacement in middle age as well as further surgery for further ACL grafting. He received £130,000.
Mrs B underwent routine surgery for repair of an umbilical hernia. During the procedure her bowel was perforated, which is a recognised risk of the procedure, but the surgeon failed to realise the bowel had been perforated. She was discharged in severe pain and even following readmission there was a delay of several days before further surgery took place. Mrs B had become septic and significantly unwell. She required a temporary ileostomy (colostomy) which was reversed 2 years later and also suffered from PTSD as a result. Settlement was agreed at £65,000.
Mrs R suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and suffered a fall, fracturing her ring finger. She presented at the local A&E where the finger was strapped to the little finger. This was the wrong treatment given the arthritis and caused a permanent deformity to both the ring and little fingers. Mrs R accepted a settlement of £15,000 reflecting the fact she was likely to have encountered some difficulties as a result of the fracture and underlying diagnosis.
Mr W fell and injured his wrist in 2013. He attended a Walk-In Centre and x-rays were arranged. They were reported as showing no injury. In 2016 Mr W suffered a further injury to the same wrist and x-rays were again taken, this time showing an old fracture to the scaphoid which could have only occurred 3 years earlier. Treatment in a case failed, as did surgery with metalwork. Mr W ultimately required removal of the scaphoid bone and has been left with a permanent reduction in movement and grip strength. Had the fracture been diagnosed from the outset it is likely to have fully healed from being in plaster, avoiding any surgery. Mr W received £53,000 in compensation.
Master G was 8 years old when he suffered an appendicitis. He was taken to his doctor and hospital on several occasions but the diagnosis was not made. At some stage during the period of delay the appendix ruptured and became gangrenous. When the diagnosis was eventually made Master G underwent surgery, which needed to be repeated twice due to extensive infection. Master G was also fed nasogastrically for a period in Intensive Care. He made a full recovery.
Settlement was agreed at £16,000 which reflected the fact that some suffering is always likely to have occurred given the original appendicitis and the uncertain timing of the rupture.
In a high profile case that was reported nationally and internationally the family of Mrs G agreed a settlement of £45,000 for Mrs G’s suffering.
Mrs G had completed an advance directive confirming that she did not wish to receive treatment if she suffered several specific medial conditions, including a severe stroke. The directive was filed with the hospital and added to her notes. Some years later Mrs G suffered such a stroke and was unable to effectively communicate. She received medical treatment to keep her alive (include surgery to feed her through a PEG) for a period of 22 months before the original advance directive was discovered in her records. Following discussions with her family at that time, Mrs G was allowed to die around one week later. The level of damages reflects the aggravated nature of the treatment of Mrs G and the imposition on her human rights.
NM / LM
NM had a cataract operation on her left eye and following this suffered from all sorts of problems arising from debris from the cataract being left in her eye during the operation. She had two further operations on her left eye to try to resolve the problem but neither were successful causing her to go blind in that eye. The loss of sight in her left eye caused the sight in the right eye to become so poor it caused her to lose her balance and fall. She was unable to drive or read and became very depressed. NM initially instructed other solicitors but then asked Dawn Slow to take over dealing with the claim. Dawn felt the claim had merit and arranged for a second opinion from a trusted Professor expert. The Professor expert was fully supportive of a claim for NM confirming that the first, second and third operations had been performed negligently.
Unfortunately, shortly after this examination NM, for unrelated reasons, died and the claim was taken up by her daughter LM. The NHS admitted negligence and LM requested that the claim be moved to a settlement as quickly as possible. A mediation was arranged and the claim settled for £115,000.
BA received damages of £150,000.00 against 3 GPs who failed to refer him to hospital for the treatment of ischaemic leg ulcers over a period of 5 weeks. As a result of the GPs negligence BA missed the opportunity to have his leg re-vascularised, which was likely to have resulted in BA avoiding amputation or delaying amputation for a period of 12 months.
The circumstances of this case are that Lynette Walsh acted for Mrs R, now aged 59 who sustained very severe injuries including amputation of both of her legs, amputation of part of her buttocks and significant injuries to her right arm as a result of a failed suicide attempt following her premature discharge from a Mental Health Unit. The case settled at mediation in the sum £600,000.
In one of the highest ever awards of damages, Janet Wardle secured a settlement with a capital value of over £13,000,000.00 for DR, a 8 year old child who at the age of 4 weeks was taken to hospital where the treating Clinicians failed to carry out appropriate investigations and perform an adequate examination resulting in substantial delay in the diagnosis of E.Coli sepsis and meningitis, causing very severe brain damage. Sadly, DR is very severely disabled both physically and cognitively. He requires around the clock care. DR received a seven figure lump sum together with periodical payments for the rest of his life to ensure that he will receive the extremely high level of professional care that he will require.
Tom Barnes acted for a 38 year old lady who received £200,000.00 damages for latent radiation damage to her bladder and bowels following treatment for cervical cancer. This was an extremely interesting case as it explored the law in respect of informed consent. MB’s injuries did not arise as a result of the negligent administration of chemo-radiotherapy, but this was the only treatment option put to MB. However, it was MB’s case that there was another option i.e. radical hysterectomy which she would have chosen had she been so advised by the treating Clinicians. The case settled shortly before trial, but had the matter proceeded to trial, then it would almost inevitably have ended up in the Court of Appeal as the parties did not agree the extent to which a Clinician has a duty of care to their patient to advise them of all reasonable treatment options.
Miss W, now aged 22, sustained a fracture to her left arm following a fall. Miss W underwent surgery on her left arm at the Defendant hospital and required further surgery the following day as the metalwork used during the first surgery had not been adequately positioned. Miss W also exhibited signs of nerve damage and there was a failure to identify this at the time of either the first or second surgery.
There was therefore a delay in identifying and treating the nerve injury resulting in Miss W suffering additional pain, weakness and a loss of mobility in her hand and wrist.
The Defendant accepted that they had breached their duty of care towards Miss W in failing to identifying the nerve damage yet they maintained that there was no long-term consequences as a result. The claim was settled in the sum of £37,500.
Mr T, now aged 24, sustained a fracture of his left tibia and fibula. He experienced a delay in diagnosis of compartment syndrome at the Defendant hospital leading to severe muscle and nerve damage in his left foot and leg resulting in permanent deformity, reduced immobility, loss of function, pain and psychiatric after effects.
The Defendant accepted the delay in diagnosis, however, they denied the extent of the injury, loss and or damage sustained as a consequence of the delay rather than the original traumatic injury.
Court proceedings were issued but before the matter reached trial we were able to agree a settlement and Mr T received £300,000.
The High Court in London have approved the settlement of a claim for a child who was born with mild cerebral palsy resulting in left sided weakness and some developmental delay. The claim arose as a result of a failed attempt by the obstetrician at forceps delivery on four occasions resulting in Miss P suffering a subgaleal haemorrhage as a result of direct trauma.
Liability was denied throughout but we are pleased to report that we were able to obtain a substantial settlement for Miss P through settlement negotiations with the defendant solicitors, formal litigation and with the approval of the High Court.
Mr D, now aged 71, suffered a severe ankle sprain. Despite several attendances at his local hospital and repeat attendances at his GP, he was never offered appropriate treatment from an Orthopaedic Consultant. Mr D continued to experience significant problems with his mobility and his independence was greatly affected.
Expert evidence was obtained which revealed that Mr D should have been seen by an appropriate Consultant and, if he had been, he would probably have made an almost complete recovery from the injury. The Defendant had missed the opportunity to treat Mr D and it was therefore highly unlikely that normal functionality could later be restored. No such treatment was ever offered by the Defendant in any event.
The Defendant accepted that Mr D had not been seen by an appropriate Doctor, but maintained that even appropriate treatment would not have materially improved the ankle function.
The matter was listed for Trial, but before it commenced the Defendant requested a joint meeting. The parties ultimately agreed to settle the claim and Mr D received £65,000, which reflected his other health concerns.
Received £750,000 following the birth of her son with severe neurological disabilities that should have been picked up during pregnancy.
Born with cerebral palsy due to the failure of hospital to respond to fetal distress during labour. The child received a lump sum payment of £2 million pounds together with an annual sum of £320,000 for the rest of his life to pay for his care.
Mr S, aged 64, underwent a revision of his total knee replacement. He remained unsteady on his feet but was encouraged to use a non-disabled shower facility at the hospital despite having disabled facilities at home. He suffered a fall whilst showering. He required further surgery and his recovery compromised.
Expert evidence was obtained from a Nurse, Orthopaedic Consultant and General Physician. Mr S ultimately received £62,000 in compensation. The award reflected his other medical difficulties.
Mr T, aged 26, fell onto his outstretched hand during a work party. He attended his local walk-in centre the following day, where he was reassured no damage had been done. Three weeks later, Mr T presented to his GP, as the wrist remained painful. He was referred for an urgent x-ray which revealed a fractured scaphoid. Conservative treatment was attempted but ultimately Mr T required several surgeries on his wrist and may require more in the future.
Had the scaphoid fracture been identified immediately, he was likely to have avoided all surgery. The claim was settled in the sum of £71,000
Mrs F, aged 83, was generally fit and well when she underwent a total knee replacement in 2012. She suffered a fall due to the instability of the replacement knee and then developed an infection, which was not treated for several weeks. Mrs F required extensive surgery on her knee to treat the infection and remained in hospital for several months. Ultimately, the treatment was futile and the leg was amputated above the knee.
Sadly, Mrs F died during the claim process, but her estate received £100,000 in compensation as a direct result of the negligence she suffered.
Miss FM, aged 36, underwent surgery for an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction at BMI Hospital in 2011. The ACL failed one year later. An MRI showed that the original surgery had been poorly performed. The Claimant required significant further surgery and will need a total knee replacement much earlier than she would otherwise require.
Miss FM accepted a sum of £62,500 in settlement of her claim.
Mr R, aged 44, suffered from high pressure (glaucoma) in both of his eyes. He was told he would have surgery to reduce the pressure, and was consented to the same. The hospital failed to list him for surgery, and, during the extended delay, Mr R became totally blind in one eye.
His claim settled in the sum of £45,000. The value of the claim reflected the fact that the eye which went blind was “lazy” and had only 50% vision prior to the negligence.
Mr B, aged 73, was diagnosed with piles during an assessment at hospital for poor digestion. Ten months later, it was discovered that Mr B did not have piles, but anal cancer. He suffered a further tumour in the lung which was believed to be a metastasis of the anal cancer, and which would not have occurred but for the delay in diagnosis and treatment. Mr B underwent surgery for the removal of half of one lung, which appeared curative.
The claim was settled in the sum of £40,000 which reflected Mr B’s other life-limiting medical conditions.