High Court Awards Compensation for being Discharged from A&E without Proper Treatment

The High Court has awarded a one-hundred-and-two year old pensioner £35,000 compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment.

Lydia Eaton from Wigmore in Kent, fell near her home and broke her pelvis in March 2007. Lydia was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham by ambulance, but discharged eight hours later with a prescription for painkillers.

Due to the untreated injury, Lydia´s mobility decreased. She started to develop sores and ulcers as she was remaining immobile for long periods of time, but no help or support was provided for her or her family from the Medway NHS Trust.

Due to her deteriorating condition, Lydia was moved into a private nursing home the following month and, in order to help pay for the nursing home fees, Lydia´s daughter made a claim for compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment.

In the claim for compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment, the family alleged that Lydia would still be able to lead an independent life were it not for the negligence of the doctors at the Medway Maritime Hospital.

The Medway NHS Trust disputed the claim and the case proceeded to the High Court, where the facts of the case where related to Mr Justice Nigel Sweeney. Judge Sweeney also heard that – since the claim for compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment had been made – Lydia had been moved to a more expensive nursing home due to a further deterioration of her condition.

After hearing testimony from legal representatives of both parties, Judge Sweeney found in Lydia´s favour. He said that Lydia´s premature discharge from the Accident and Emergency Department had been a contributing factor in the deterioration of her condition.

The judge awarded Lydia £35,000 compensation for being discharged from A&E without proper treatment, and ordered that the settlement should be maintained in a trust fund to pay the costs of Lydia´s future care.

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Compensation Claim for Unnecessary Surgery Resolved for Undisclosed Amount

A man who underwent an operation on his brain, which would not have been performed if the results of a blood test had been checked properly, has resolved his compensation claim for unnecessary surgery.

Sixty-three year old John Tunney – from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands – underwent an operation on his brain at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry in April 2008, after doctors found an abnormal growth around his pituitary gland on an MRI scan.

However, instead of taking a biopsy of the abnormal growth, the surgeon conducting the brain operation removed healthy brain tissue which resulted in John suffering a brain haemorrhage. Due to the haemorrhage, John is partly blind and needs support 24 hours a day.

After being discharged from hospital, John learned that the operation on his brain had not even been necessary. It became apparent that doctors had failed to properly check the results of a blood test that showed the abnormal growth was a prolactinoma – a common and benign pituitary tumour that can be treated with medication.

After seeking legal advice, John made a compensation claim for unnecessary surgery due to hospital negligence against the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. After an investigation into the circumstances surrounding John´s unnecessary surgery, the NHS Trust admitted liability and issued John with an apology.

After an evaluation into the care and support that John will need for the remainder of his life, a seven-figure settlement of John´s compensation claim for unnecessary surgery was agreed. John has also requested that the General Medical Council investigate the surgeon who performed the operation.

Speaking after the announcement of the undisclosed settlement, John´s wife – Pamela – told the press: “John’s brain injury has had devastating effects on him. Prior to the surgery, he was a very easygoing person who was always active and on the go. To see the change in him and to know that it was all entirely avoidable is extremely upsetting”.

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Pneumococcal Meningitis Misdiagnosis Hospital Malpractice Claim Resolved

A court in Mold, North Wales, has heard that a pneumococcal meningitis misdiagnosis claim for hospital malpractice compensation has been resolved with Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board admitting 75 per cent responsibility for injuries sustained by a little girl from Wrexham.

Kate Pierce (6) was just nine months old when she developed pneumococcal meningitis and was brought by her parents to Wrexham´s Maelor Hospital. A junior doctor at the hospital diagnosed Kate with viral tonsillitis and told her parents it was safe to bring the little girl home. Kate´s parents, worried about their daughter´s health, asked for a second opinion and were told by the junior doctor that a senior doctor had been consulted, when no such consultation had been made.

Kate´s condition got worse overnight and the next day her parents returned to the hospital where pneumococcal meningitis was diagnosed. Sadly for Kate, the correct diagnosis came too late to prevent her from sustaining brain damage and although she was immediately transferred to the Alder Hay Children´s Hospital in Liverpool, she now suffers from severe epilepsy and chronic lung disease, and is registered blind and deaf.

After seeking legal counsel from medical negligence solicitors, Kate´s parents made a pneumococcal meningitis misdiagnosis claim for compensation against the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board; claiming that their daughter had suffered due to medical negligence and would require a lifetime of care. After a protracted study into events at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board admitted that “aspects of care provided by the hospital were not of an acceptable standard”.

The Health Board stated in court that they had said sorry to the family and were prepared to accept 75 per cent liability for Kate´s injuries. How much compensation for pneumococcal meningitis the family will receive will be determined in a hearing due to be held later this year.

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Compensation for Delayed Treatment Awarded to Deceased Man’s Family

A hospital has “apologised unreservedly” and paid out 500,000 Euros in compensation for delayed treatment to the family of a deceased man who died from septic shock after being admitted with abdominal pains.

Barry Murphy (38) was admitted to the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital early on 24th April 2008. Barry, a financial controller who was suffering from Crohn´s Disease, was diagnosed with a perforated bowel but surgery was delayed until late in the evening – by which time septic shock had taken over Barry´s body – and he was pronounced dead the same evening.

Barry´s spouse, Mary, and her two daughters alleged that Barry had died due to medical malpractice, and took the South Infirmary–Victoria University Hospital to court, claiming compensation for delayed treatment and wrongful death. At first the hospital denied liability for Barry´s death, during which time Mary suffered significant psychological damage and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

However, at the High Court, Mr Justice John Quirke heard that the hospital now admitted that “the level of care provided to the late Mr Murphy fell short of an acceptable standard”, and was willing to pay compensation for delayed treatment amounting to 500,000 Euros in total. After ensuring that the settlement offer was agreeable to Barry´s widow, Mr Justice John Quirke approved the settlement, adding his own sympathy to Mary and her two daughters for the unthinkable tragedy.

This article is about a medical negligence case in Ireland. For additional information about such cases, please refer to medical negligence claims in Ireland.



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Hospital Medical Negligence Claim Settled for Misdiagnosed Spinal Injury

A 25 year old man, whose schoolboy spinal injury was overlooked eleven years ago – leading to years of pain and difficulty with walking – has settled his hospital medical negligence claim with the Tameside Hospital in Manchester in an undisclosed out-of-court settlement.  

Liam Careless of Stalybridge, Manchester, was just twelve years of age when he went to the Accident and Emergency department of the Tameside Hospital complaining of feelings of paralysis on his neck. He (Liam) was x-rayed, detained overnight and discharged from hospital the next day with a neck collar for support.

However, after four years of complaining of shooting pains in his neck, another x-ray revealed that the serious damage to Liam´s spine had been overlooked – damage which could have been resolved with prompt surgery at the time of his original complaint.

Now faced with lifelong of pain, a weak neck and difficulty with walking, Liam sought legal advice and brought a hospital medical negligence claim against the Tameside Hospital. The Hospital acknowledged that they were liable for the error and offered Liam a six figure sum in compensation to provide ongoing care.

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Hospital Medical Negligence Compensation for Operation on Wrong Side of Heart

A man, who was woken during surgery to tell him that his heart operation had gone wrong, has received a six-figure sum in hospital compensation after making a medical negligence claim.

Steve Edwards (51) was having a minor heart procedure at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in 2008 when the error occurred. During the surgery, an item of equipment slipped, causing a radio pulse to be applied to the incorrect side of his heart.

The error meant that Mr Edwards would require a pacemaker fitted, and the heavily anaesthetised was brought around to advise him of the treatment he required. Mr Edwards claimed in his action a that he did not appreciate the severity of the issue at the time, and it was only in an outpatient´s appointment ten weeks later that the full extent of the error became known.

Despite three additional attempts at corrective surgery, Mr Edwards will now have to wear the pacemaker for the rest of his life – meaning that he will have to undergo surgery once every seven years to replace the battery. The Bristol Royal Infirmary admitted negligence and agreed a six-figure sum in hospital compensation with Mr Edwards’ legal representatives in an out-of-court settlement.

In the statement, the Bristol Royal Infirmary stated “Technical errors during Mr Edwards’ cardiac ablation procedure resulted in the catheter moving and radio frequency energy being delivered to the wrong side of his heart. Further checks have been introduced to ensure that the catheter is perfectly placed before radio frequency energy is delivered.”

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Hospital Medical Negligence Compensation Approved for Disabled Teenager

A teenage girl, who was left paralysed by a spinal surgeon´s negligence, has had a multi-million pounds hospital medical negligence compensation settlement approved by the High Court in London.

Laura May (17) of Chorley, Lancashire, was admitted to hospital in March 2005 for an operation to correct a curvature of her spine. However, her orthopaedic surgeon – Dr Roger Battersby Smith – failed to use an imaging technique before operating, and negligently misplaced a screw during the operation.

As a result of Dr Smith’s hospital medical negligence, Laura lost the use of her limbs and is paralysed from the chest down.

After seeking legal advice, Laura´s parents – Bill and Christine May – sued Dr Smith and the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for hospital medical negligence compensation and, in 2009, the Royal Court of Justice ruled in favour of Laura and her family.

The High Court in London has now approved a settlement which will comprise of a lump sum payment now and periodic payments throughout Laura´s life. The total compensation package – which is believed to be around 3 million pounds – will provide medical care, specialised accommodation and equipment for Laura, as well as compensating her for future loss of earnings.

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Paralysed at Birth Child Awarded 6 Million Pound Package

A six year old boy, who is only able to move his eyes after an error in his delivery left him in a quadriplegic condition, has been awarded a 6 million pounds compensation package at London´s High Court.

The boy, whose name was withheld in court, sustained severe cerebral palsy due to delays in a caesarean section being performed at Epsom Hospital in December 2004 and now requires around-the-clock care.

Suing Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust through his mother, the boy claimed that their medical negligence had led to his condition and, after an investigation, Mr Justice Eady at the High Court heard that the NHS Trust admittedly liability.

The medical negligence compensation settlement which totals 5,961,199 pounds, is to paid in a lump sum of 2.8 million pounds to pay for the care and specialist treatment he requires now, with further index-linked and tax free payments throughout the remainder of the child´s life.

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1 Million Pounds Heart Operation Compensation

Two teenagers, who claimed to have suffered disability following a heart operation at the Bristol Royal Infirmary when they were children, have each had hospital negligence compensation awards of 500,000 pounds approved in the High Court.

The teenagers – Kristian Dixon (19) and Jessica Johnson (18) – were both babies when undergoing heart surgery in 1992 and 1993 respectively.  Mr Dixon claimed that brain damage sustained when he was sixteen months caused cognitive and learning difficulties, while Ms Johnson has needed permanent care ever since her heart surgery.

It was alleged at the High Court in London that both had sustained brain damage due to professional negligence by Surgeon Mr James Wisheart and hospital manager Dr John Roylance – who were struck off following a study into the deaths of 29 babies at the hospital between 1988 and 1995 – and Dr Janardan Dhasmana, who was barred from performing heart surgery at a disciplinary hearing in 1999.

Approving the awards, which were agreed by United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust without admission of liability, Mr Justice Owen praised the families of both teenagers for the dedicated care they had given over the years.

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Compensation for the Failure to Recognise a Premature Birth Approved in Court

A £2 million settlement of compensation for the failure to recognise a premature birth has been approved in the High Court.

Thomas and Rachel Hartley from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire were born at the Hemel Hempstead Hospital in October 1999 with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy having been starved of oxygen in their mother´s womb.

Their mother – Joanna – had attended the hospital several days prior to their birth complaining of pregnancy complications; but she was prescribed with drugs to strengthen the babies´ lings and sent home – when in fact she was just about to deliver her children prematurely.

Due to the alleged misdiagnosis of Joanna´s condition, Thomas and Rachel are dependent on their parents for support and for communicating and will be confined to wheelchairs for the remainder of their lives.

On her children´s behalf, Joanna claimed compensation for the failure to recognise a premature birth against the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, claiming that if her condition had been correctly diagnosed, Thomas and Rachel would not have been starved of oxygen in the womb and sustained spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

The NHS Trust denied its liability for the children´s birth injuries, but made a £2 million offer of settlement in respect of Thomas´ injuries without an admission of liability (Rachel´s future needs are still being assessed). The offer was accepted, but first had to be approved by a judge before the claim in respect of Thomas could be resolved.

Consequently, in the High Court in London, Judge Peter Ralls QC heard the details of the claim for compensation for the failure to recognise a premature birth, and the offer of settlement that had been made by West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust. The judge approved the settlement, expressing his sympathy to Joanna and her husband, and saying “I wish you well for the future, and for your delightful children”.

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