Hearing for Delayed Spinal Abscess Treatment

The result of a medical negligence claim for treatment of a spinal access is set to be determined in London’s High Court later this month.

The anonymous patient, unnamed for legal reasons, was paralysed from the waist down because of the delay in treatment for spinal abscesses in 2009. The treatment was due to be carried out in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, but the delay has rendered the patient wheelchair bound and reliant on twenty-four seven care.

Though the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability for the negligent treatment, no agreement has been reached concerning how much the settlement of compensation is worth. Legal representatives of the Trust argue that much of the care costs associated with the treatment of the fifty-year-old male patient are associated with teenage drug abuse, which the NHS Trust claims they should not be liable to pay.

Whilst the patient’s lawyer value the compensation settlement of the paralysed man at £3.4 million, the NHS Trust say that it should be less than £1 million, telling the court that the wheelchair has not stopped the man’s “chaotic” lifestyle. They say he still engages in the company of drug addicts and other so-called “undesirable characters”.

Lawyers for the Trust say that the patient has a duty to stop his drug habit, and that public policy states that the claim for compensation should be drastically reduced. The opposing lawyers argued that their client has a dependency disorder, and that refusing him compensation would mean he would not suitable manage his disability.
Due to the claimant’s vulnerability, the judge has ordered that nothing identifiable be published. The case is set to continue for the rest of the week.

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