Recent Cases - Clinical Negligence
We acted for a client who was unhappy with the medical treatment which she received during June 2008 when he was aged 53. Briefly, he had been complaining of ongoing back and sciatic pain since May 2008 and his GP referred him to the Back Clinic at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon where he was examined by a Clinical Physiotherapist employed by Swindon PCT. Our client had been systematically unwell and in particular, was complaining of a number of “red flag” symptoms which included poor appetite, dramatic weight loss, dark urine and an inability to sit for long periods. It was our case that he should have been referred immediately at this time to a doctor for further investigation. The physiotherapist referred him for an MRI scan to be arranged later on.
During August 2008, he suffered a stroke which was found to be secondary to a condition called streptococcal mitral valve endocarditis. This has now left him with a significant disability and he had a substantial claim for loss of earnings, care, equipment, therapies and accommodation. It was our case that:-
- if he had been referred to a doctor immediately during June 2008 this would have resulted in an early diagnosis of endocarditis;
- this condition could then have been treated with antibiotics which, in turn, would have avoided his stroke during August 2008.
A letter of claim was sent to Swindon PCT who initially denied liability. Proceedings had to be issued in the High Court. On filing a Defence, they admitted liability and shortly before this matter had been listed for trial, a settlement was reached between the parties.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £835,000.00 for this client during 2013
We acted for a woman (aged 70) who was unhappy with treatment which she received from her dentist in Cheltenham. She had been one of his patients from 1997 up until 2010. She was critical of her dentist in that she believed she was subject to a very poor standard of dental care during this period and as a consequence 22 of her teeth were damaged. It was our case that if she had been treated correctly this damage could have been avoided. A letter of claim was sent to her dentist and after some correspondence with his Dental Defence Union we were able to settle her claim.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £33,000.00 for this client during 2013
ENT Surgeon’s negligence
One of our clients (aged 54 at the time) was unhappy with medical treatment which she received at the Shepton Mallett Treatment Centre (SMTC) during May 2011. The treatment was a bilateral endoscopic sinus surgery with a nasal polypectomy and septoplasty. It is standard practice to have a CT scan prior to such surgery to assess the pathology and get a clearer understanding of the patient’s bone anatomy. In this particular case, our client was in a vulnerable position, as she had left sided amblyopia (or a lazy eye) which left her particularly dependent upon her right sided vision.
Following this surgery, our client had significant impairment of her right sided vision. This was investigated with a further CT scan in June 2011 which showed an obvious dehiscence of the lamina papyracea and entrapment of the medical rectus muscle. This damage had not been present on the pre-operative CT scan. Following a letter of claim from our firm, SMTC accepted:-
- the damage had occurred during the surgery and
- to cause this damage had been negligent.
This negligence now caused a number of problems for our client’s right good eye in that there was restriction in its movement, it was painful and she no longer felt it was safe to drive. As a consequence, she had to change jobs at work and do something which accommodated her disability. Her right eye was also unsightly.
Although, liability was conceded at an early stage, there was a significant difference between the parties in our valuation of our client’s claim. The solicitors acting for SMTC initially only offered to settle her claim for £26,000.00 which we advised her to reject. Subsequent protracted negotiations resulted in a much improved offer.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £145,000.00 for this client during 2013
Failure to renew a repeat prescription
We acted for a client (aged 32) who was unhappy with treatment which he received from a locum GP at his GP surgery in Swindon. Briefly, he had been diagnosed with epilepsy in 1999. In April 2008, his medication to help control this condition was changed. During August 2010, he e-mailed his GP surgery with a request for a repeat prescription of his medication. This was his usual method of obtaining his prescriptions. He was then contacted by a receptionist at the GP surgery who stated that a locum GP had refused to write a prescription as there were no records of his anti-epileptic medication. He would have to make an appointment with his GP but the earliest appointment available was not until after his stock of medicine had run out. Before he saw his GP he suffered an epileptic fit. Unfortunately, this resulted in him losing his driving licence and caused him to change jobs. His mental state also deteriorated. The solicitors acting for the locum GP denied liability. It was only when we threatened to issue proceedings on behalf of our client that the parties were able to reach a settlement.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £10,000.00 for this client during 2013
We acted for a client (aged 41 at the time) who was admitted to the Royal United Hospital in Bath for an appendicectomy in 2009. During her anaesthetic induction, she was administered a muscle relaxant in error instead of a minor tranquiliser. This caused her to become temporarily paralysed but at all times remained conscious. She was unable to move and felt she was unable to breath. She was able to see and hear the activities of the medical staff who initially thought that she had a suffered a seizure and was unconscious. She thought she was going to die. Gradually she regained the ability to move and to speak. Her appendicectomy had to be postponed. As a consequence of these events, she suffered from a very severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Notwithstanding intensive counselling, her PTSD continues and is likely to continue for many years, possibily for the rest of her normal working life. She leads a very restrictive lifestyle consistent with the pattern of avoidance behaviour seen in PTSD. She had to give up her job as a teacher and she may never be fit enough to work again. Although the Hospital Trust accepted liability at an early stage there was a dispute on the quantum of this claim. Proceedings had to be issued at Court and the parties were then able to reach a settlement.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £675,000.00 for this client during 2012
Infected kidney transplant
In this very sad case, we acted for the husband of a young woman (only aged 37) who during 2009 underwent a donor renal transplant at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. Due to a transcription error, she was given an infected kidney. The error did not come to light until much later and by now the deceased had caught this infection and became resistant to anti-viral therapy. The transplant failed altogether and had to be removed. Sadly, her health continued to deteriorate and she died at the beginning of 2010. This had been caused by the infected kidney. As well leaving a husband, she left 2 young children without a mother. We represented the family at the Inquest into her death and later in the civil claim for damages. Following their receipt of our letter of claim, the Hospital Trust admitted liability and after protracted negotiations we were able to reach a settlement. As part of the agreed damages were going to be paid to the two dependent children, this settlement was approved by the Judge at Court.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £300,000.00 for this client during 2012