RECENT MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CASES

Claimant v Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and London North West Healthcare NHS Trust

The Claimant sought medical treatment following a fall. He complained of foot pain which was not initially investigated. On a further visit to hospital, an x-ray taken of the Claimant’s foot was incorrectly interpreted. As a result the Claimant did not receive a correct diagnosis for his “Lisfranc” injury and therefore suffered a period of unnecessary pain and suffering. The Defendant Trust admitted that a breach of duty had occurred and offered to settle the Claimant’s claim for £1,000.00. Negotiations took place between the parties and the claim eventually settled for £7,000.00.

Damages settled pre-issue at £7,000– (the Defendant having previously offered £1,000).


 

Claimant v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

A delay in diagnosis and treatment of an Achilles tendon rupture occurred resulting in the tendon ends moving further apart, leading to delayed recovery. The Defendant Trust denied that they had failed to treat the Claimant correctly. Court proceedings were issued and served against the Trust, following which they agreed to enter in to negotiations. An initial offer of £6,000.00 was put forward by the Defendants but was considered too low. Negotiations took place and a settlement of £9,500.00 was agreed, without the need to proceed to trial.

Damages settled post-issue at £9,500 – (the Defendant having previously offered £6,000).


 

SL v GP's (various)

There was a systemic failure to monitor the Claimant's renal function and failure to refer him for specialist treatment at the hospital nephrology department denying him treatment that could have prevented end-stage renal failure and the need for a kidney transplant. Referral to the nephrology department would have ensured that he received a regime of treatment that would have systemically monitors and managed his renal condition and other relevant conditions such as hypertension. The claimant has a fast food business and his ability to dedicate time to the business was affected and he also suffered as a consequence of the manner in which the diagnosis ultimately became known to him. This claim concerned allegations of negligence against 9 Defendants.

Damages settled pre-issue at £100,000– (the Defendant having previously offered £70,000).


 

CLAIMANT v Cardiff & Vale University Local Health Board & Cwm Taff University Local Health Board

The Claimant underwent a radical prostatectomy as a result of being misdiagnosed with cancer by two Health Boards. The Claimant, did not in fact have cancer at all, his results had been misallocated. The radical prostatectomy surgery has left the Claimant with erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence which has had a devastating effect on his lifestyle. The Defendant Health Boards admitted their failure of misallocating the Claimant’s results which led to the Claimant undergoing unnecessary surgical procedure, radical prostatectomy, which caused his injuries.

Damages settled pre-issue for £80,000 – (the Defendant having previously offered £60,000).


 

CLAIMANT v Cwm Taff University Health Board

Claimant presented with abdominal pain and vomiting at the Defendant’s hospital – examined and tenderness noted. Appendicitis was excluded as a diagnosis.

 The Claimant re-attended 2 days later in increased pain when Gastroenteritis was diagnosed.

U/S eventually carried out confirmed the claimant had a perforated appendix requiring appendectomy. The claimant suffered PTSD.

Initial offer of £26,000 rejected on advice as was an offer of £37,500 - settlement reached in the sum of £50,000.

Damages £50,000


 

CLAIMANT v Dr (GP)

The claimant suffered from a pre-existing depressive disorder. The GP failed to refer when the claimant’s vision was at risk, resulting in an exacerbation of the condition and visual disturbance / keratoconus affecting the claimant’s ability to work. Proceedings issued and served and the matter set down for Trial.

The matter was settled at joint settlement meeting, after an offer of £10,000 was rejected on advice. 6 months prior to settlement.

Damages £160,000


 

CLAIMANT v CITY HOSPITALS SUNDERLAND NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

The Claimant was admitted to hospital with a two day history of vomiting and diarrhoea associated with lower abdominal pain. A misdiagnosis of gastroenteritis/urinary tract infection/appendicitis was made but antibiotic treatment was commenced on the basis of a diagnosis of a urinary tract infection. Three days later the Claimant underwent a laparotomy for perforated appendix, faeces inside the abdomen and multiple abscesses caused by small bowel obstruction. The abscesses were drained and an appendectomy performed.

A claim was brought on the basis that the Claimant suffered acute gangrenous appendicitis with perforation and the Claimant was hospitalised for two weeks with viable permanent scaring.

If properly diagnosed the Claimant would have undergone a routine appendectomy and made a full recovery within a few months of the operation.

Damages £30,000 (the Defendant having previously offered £16,000).


 

CLAIMANT v A GP

The Claimant was born in January 2005 and at aged 14 months contracted acute pneumococcal meningitis as a result of which he has been left with profound sensori-neural hearing loss.

The parents had consulted the defendant GP who reassured the parents despite the child’s reported symptoms and no arrangements were made by the Defendant to see the Claimant, review him or admit him to hospital. That advice was negligent and led to a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of the child who otherwise would not have suffered hearing loss and the requirement of cochlear implants.

Development of the child’s language skills have been slightly impeded and he would also have avoided problems with executive function and emotional/behavioural and communication difficulties.

The liability aspects of the claim were settled on the basis that the Defendant would pay 70% of the damages assessed for all permanent consequences arising out of the meningitis and Judgement to that effect was entered 8th June 2014. The parties then proceeded towards quantification of damages with a Trial date fixed, which then converted into a Court Approval hearing following without prejudice discussions, after a Joint Settlement Meeting had failed to reach settlement.

Settlement reached £600,000 (the 30% deduction having been taken into account when reaching that figure).


 

CLAIMANT v SURREY & SUSSEX HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST

The claimant born in 2009 sustained an acute, profound hypoxic insult prior to delivery.

Due to negligent treatment he suffers with a severe form of cerebral palsy, epilepsy, has no speech, but relatively preserved cognitive function.

The Trust admitted liability early on.

Damages - A capitalised lump sum of £2.5 million, together with periodical payments of £93,000 per annum rising to £245,000 pa


 

CLAIMANT v SANDWELL AND WEST BIRMINGHAM HOSPITAL NHS TRUST

The Claimant was not referred for any post-op therapy and treated in an observational approach only, after bilateral lymphadenenectomy and failed upper vaginectomy. She was subsequently found to have an extensive tumour at the vaginal vault and required total pelvic exenteration, right nephrectomy, ileal conduit and end colostomy.

It was alleged that she should have been referred to a Multi- disciplinary team and /or referred to an oncologist, and should have been offered post-op radiotherapy which would, on balance of probabilities avoided her recurrent disease.

The claimant was left with a permanent colostomy and urostomy, with server loss of quality of life and depression.

Proceedings were issued and served with liability and causation denied by the Trust in their defense. The matter was subject to cost budgeting, with a Trial window allocated. A claimant offer in the sum of £160,000 was made and accepted by the Defendant.

Damages £160,000


CLAIMANT v CITY HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

The claimant was admitted with a 2 day history of vomiting, diarrhoea with abdominal pain, fever and tachycardia, with elevation of inflammatory markers. She was diagnosed with gastroenteritis, and then a urinary tract infection. She deteriorated despite antibiotics, and 3 days after admission a scan result suggested ‘appendicitis with suspicion of perforation’.

The claimant underwent a laparotomy, where a perforated appendix associated with free faeces within the abdomen was found. The claimant should have been scanned sooner and the differential diagnosis of appendicitis investigated, which would have prevented the development of peritonitis (inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that lines the abdomen).

The claimant was particularly conscious of the scarring and has a 25% chance of an incisional hernia developing. Proceedings were issued and served.

Damages £30,000


CLAIMANT v NORTHUMBRIA HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST

The claimant underwent foot fusion, during which there was concern that the screw may have gone into the joint but no corrective action was taken at the time or immediately post –op. X rays subsequently revealed that the screw would need to be repositioned.

The claimant required a second surgical procedure for removal and reinsertion of the screw which was not successful requiring further surgery. The claimant’s walking distance is limited. Causation was denied but an offer of £6000 was made and rejected, on advice. Negotiations continued, resulting in settlement.

Damages £26,343 (including CRU)


CLAIMANT v THE PENNINE ACUTE HOSPITAL NHS TRUST

The deceased was a patient in the gastroenterology ward and was assessed as being at high risk of developing pressure ulcers. He was doubly incontinent and had presented with sacral oedema on admission.

Staff failed to act on the assessed high risk and as a result he suffered distressing pressure sores during hospitalisation.

He subsequently died (unrelated to the pressure sores). The claim was presented on behalf of the estate by his widow, and the Trust admitted breach.

Damages £8000 for around 1 month of additional and unnecessary pain and suffering (PSLA)


CLAIMANT v CARDIFF & VALE UNI HEALTH BOARD

The claimant underwent spinal surgery during which a shaver tip broke from an implement used to create space around the spinal discs. It was left in situ (non-negligently) and the claimant had to undergo a second procedure for its removal via a different operating approach (anterior).

Damages for having to undergo a second operation that would otherwise have been unnecessary and for minor additional scaring £6,750.


CLAIMANT v NORTHUMBRIA HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST

The claimant underwent fusion surgery to his foot. It was alleged that an internal screw was misaligned and that there was a failure at surgery to notice the problem.

The claimant required a second operation for removal and reinsertion of the screw which was not successful reducing the claimant to ongoing pain and further surgery.

The Defendant hospital admitted breach of duty but denied causation. Settlement was reached before it was necessary to issue proceedings.

Damages £16,343


CLAIMANT v ROYAL CORNWALL HOSPITAL NHS TRUST

Geldards was instructed to bring a claim against the above trust after it failed to diagnose and treat sepsis resulting in death from multi-organ failure.

The Patient presented with abdominal pain but was discharged from hospital to be readmitted but there continued to be a delay in administering antibiotic and fluids, which would have prevented her death. The claim was brought on behalf of the estate, by the deceased’s husband.

Breach of duty and causation was denied by the Hospital Trust, until settlement at a round table meeting was reached shortly before the matter was due to go to Trial.

Damages £150,000


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Rachel Kirby

RACHEL KIRBY

Associate, Cardiff

+44 (0)29 2039 1886
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Spencer Collier

SPENCER COLLIER

Partner, Cardiff

+44(0)29 2039 1704
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