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Medical Negligence

Recent Case Wins

Testament to our national reputation of winning cases and securing maximum compensation for our clinical negligence clients. Below is a list of our recent case wins.

 

Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation Claims Case Wins

 

Damages in excess of £1,000,000 for a lady who suffered a Spinal Injury

Simon Mansfield achieved an award of more than £1,000,000 for a lady in her 70s who suffered a penetrating injury to her spinal cord during the siting of an epidural anaesthesia.

As a result of the injury the Client was left with virtually complete paralysis of the left leg, associated with bi-lateral lower limb sensory impairment, neuropathic pain and disturbance of bladder and bowel function.

After securing an admission of liability from the Defendant Simon was able to obtain interim payments that enabled the client to adapt her property so that it was suitable for her disability and implement a care package that meant that she had the support she needed to live as full a life as possible.

The Client now lives in a fully adapted property close to her family with guaranteed payments for life to cover her care and treatment needs.

 

Damages of £1,200,000 for a lady who suffered from a Cauda Equina injury

Simon Mansfield and Clair Hemming working together achieved and award of more than £1,200,000 for an elderly lady who suffered from a severe cauda equina injury as a result of a negligent failure to assess her when she attended a North Devon Hospital complaining of severe back pain.

As a result of the injury the client suffered from a complete loss of bladder and bowel control, neuropathic pain and extremely limited mobility. She had bilateral foot drop and was largely wheelchair bound but able to transfer with assistance. As a result of her injuries she required assistance with personal care, mobilising and virtually all aspects of day to day life 24 hours a day.

Following an admission of liability, interim payments were secured which enabled the client to adapt her property and move back into her home with the support that she received.

 

S v Various GP’s - £664,000

In this claim conducted by Endurance Arthur, our client had a complicated history of pre-existing back problems, minor incontinence, mobility issues, and pain. She underwent successful surgery to decompress a slipped disc, but, months later, when she suffered disc problems again, her GPs failed to heed warning signs of a Cauda Equina syndrome.  In the course of the claim, it was established that their failures led to a delay in surgery to decompress the affected nerves. The result of their negligence was a worsening of her incontinence and pain, severely restricted mobility, exacerbation of pre-existing mental health issues and new problems involving sexual and bowel function.

Liability remained in dispute throughout, with the Defendant fiercely defending the claim alleging that the Claimant was exaggerating her symptoms.

The claim was settled out of court for approximately £664,000 3 weeks before trial.

 

TS v  Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board & The Walton Centre NHS Trust

Clair Hemming acted for T who suffered nerve damage as a result of a failure to diagnose and treat compression of the cauda equina caused by a prolapse disc in the spine. The Claimant was left with loss of sensation in saddle area, loss of sensation/weakness in the right lower limbs and neuropathic pain, mobility problems and bladder dysfunction.

The Claimant was admitted as a patient to a District Hospital who sought advice from a Spinal Unit who were their agreed emergency spinal tertiary referral centre. A delay in performing an MRI to confirm the suspected diagnosis led to a delay of 24 hours in transfer to the Spinal Unit and microsurgery.   

Breach of duty was admitted by both Defendants but causation was denied and remained in dispute throughout. Clair Hemming negotiated a 6 figure joint settlement with the Defendants.

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Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claims Case Wins

 

JKM v Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust - £19.9m

Endurance Arthur achieved an award of £19,919,380.00 for JKM, a 9 year old girl, after negligent care during her birth at North Devon District Hospital left her with severe brain damage and a reduced life expectancy. Her injury affects all four limbs and her speech, swallowing and eating. She cannot walk but can scoot around on the floor and stand briefly with support. She needs 24 hour care and assistance but her intellect is preserved and she is keen to communicate with those around her. As she uses signing, which is only understood by a few who are very close to her, she often struggles to make herself understood and she is keenly aware of the differences between herself and others

As well as helping to overcome the physical impact of her injuries, a major concern in quantifying the claim was to improve her means of communication, her learning opportunities and to provide psychological input to help her come to terms with her plight.

The substantial award will provide security for life in terms of her future care, therapy and equipment needs. It also provides maximum opportunities for RXH to fulfil her potential despite the devastating injuries she suffered during her birth.

This story has also been reported on by Devon Live.

 

CDE v Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust - £17.8m

Clair Hemming and Michelle Beckett acted for the girl who was born at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. During the latter stages of her mother’s labour, the midwifery staff failed to appreciate signs that the baby was in distress, and to act accordingly by calling for urgent medical help to expedite the delivery. By the time the baby girl was born she had been deprived of oxygen (hypoxia) causing severe brain damage. The Trust admitted negligence when formal allegations were put to them by Tozers.

The girl suffers from cerebral palsy, and has wide ranging, physical and mental disabilities which will require life long, round the clock support to enable her to live as normal and fulfilling life as is possible. Having undertaken the complex task of investigating the extent of her disabilities and assessing her lifelong needs to assess the compensation she needed to pay for such, negotiations began between lawyers for the Trust and the Claimant’s legal team, and an agreement was reached with the Trust whereby a lump sum would be paid in damages together with index linked annual payments over her lifetime.  

At the Court hearing to approve the settlement the Judge, Mr Justice Johnson described her as a "an extremely determined girl" who leads a very active life, much of it outdoors. Her academic achievements and "lovely personality" were a tribute to her "amazing" parents, who had given her "an outstanding level of care.” They could, he added, now rest assured that there will always be sufficient funds in place to pay for all the care and support she needs.

The judge concluded: "Teenage daughters don't always show appreciation for their parents, but I have no doubt that she realises just how lucky she is to have them."

The final settlement of the teenage girl's claim has a capitalised value of around £17.8 million.

This story has also been reported on by Devon Live.

 

TXS v Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust - £8.17 million

An out of court agreement was reached on a settlement of £8.17 million for a child from North Devon just weeks before trial. Endurance Arthur acted for the young child who sustained one of the most severe cases of brain damage resulting from mistakes during labour. The child only just survived after being deprived of oxygen during and after birth until proper resuscitation took place. The child has been left with profound injuries and a severely shortened life. As a consequence of the settlement, a property was bought for adaptation to suit the child’s needs. A case manager was then appointed to help the family to access essential equipment and therapies for the child’s benefit. Carers were also employed to help look after the child.

This story has also been reported on by Devon Live.

 

TXT v Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Trust – £14.5 million

Shoulder dystocia occurred during Y’s birth in 1997. It was alleged that this was mismanaged by midwifery staff who caused trauma to brachial plexus and delay in delivering leading to a brain haemorrhage and scarring which affected cognitive function.

A compromise was agreed with the Defendant that they accept liability for injury on a 75% basis.   Proceedings were stayed for a number of years to allow the then 12-year-old boy to mature to accurately assess the implications of the subtle brain damage. An interim payment enabled a rehabilitation and support package to be put in place. Investigations were resurrected in 2018 and included extensive neuropsychological and psychiatric assessment given the complex behavioural problems and anxieties which hindered rehabilitation, independence and capacity.

Clair Hemming acted on behalf of Y in what was a highly unusual/unprecedented case. A settlement was negotiated with the Defendant who accepted that the Claimant who had a full life expectancy, would require 24-hour support (including waking night care), would never work and would require a Deputy for life.

Damages were agreed at £14.5 million representing 75% of £19.3 million.

 

Errors during birth led to damages of £6.5m

Child H was left with Cerebral palsy and significant brain damage as a result of the mismanagement of her birth at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend.

After an extensive legal battle, the hospital’s solicitor admitted that the hospital had managed the birth negligently leaving Child H suffering from significant and lifelong brain damage – she is unable to walk unaided, talk or feed herself and she will in addition, require 24 hours care and assistance for the rest of her life. The award the clinical negligence partners negotiated was made up of a significant lump sum payment as well as tax free annual payments for life, which will cover the cost of providing additional nursing care, equipment and various therapies. This settlement, known as a structured settlement, equates to a lump sum of £6.5 million.

 

Substandard cardiac surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary leads to damages of over £3.85 million

Endurance Arthur, Partner, was instructed by the parents of a 19 year old man (B) after negligent heart surgery left him with severe brain damage, epilepsy, severe behavioural problems and autistic traits; he also has a significantly reduced life expectancy.

B underwent surgery to correct a heart defect at Bristol Royal Infirmary in 1992. As part of his case it was argued on B’s behalf that he was denied the better operation for his condition because Bristol had such poor results for it. When the less optimum operation was eventually carried out, it was done incompetently and exposed B to brain damage. However, whilst Bristol conceded that surgery was done in a substandard manner, it argued that the resulting damage was not the type it would have expected to see as a result of the negligence. Endurance secured an award of compensation totalling more than £3.85 million, comprising a lump sum of £1m and annual payments for the rest of his life.

 

£2.9 Million Settlement for 13 year Old Girl Who Suffered Severe Rather Than Mild or Moderate Cerebral Palsy

A team here led by Endurance Arthur achieved an award of damages of roughly £2.9 million for a 13-year-old girl from Poole in Dorset earlier this year. It was an unusual case, in which the girl was delivered by Caesarean section after a critical fall in her heart rate about 30 minutes before her birth. She had no signs of life at birth and only recovered a heartbeat when fervent efforts to resuscitate her brought her back to life 25 minutes after her delivery. Meanwhile, her brain had been deprived of oxygen and the catastrophic damage to her brain resulted in cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs and almost all her bodily functions. She cannot walk or talk and has severe learning disabilities. Her life expectancy is reduced and she requires round the clock care.

The claim was extremely complicated and the legal team had to accept that at best, our client could have been delivered 10 mins earlier than she was. As such would have had mild or possibly moderate cerebral palsy in any case.

The Defendant denied blame throughout although the proceedings. The settlement compensated our client for the additional problems our client has because she suffered very severe and rather than mild or moderate cerebral palsy.

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Erb's Palsy Compensation Claims Cases

 

AXA  v East Suffold and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust – June 2020

Stuart Bramley recently brokered a settlement on a claim which the Defendants had fought hard, with no admissions at all, for some years.  The Claimant has suffered Erb’s palsy as a result of her delivery in 2009 and although the opponents had served both a Letter of Response and a Defence denying all fault, when the parties were preparing for a trial in early 2021, a deal was eventually struck allowing the girl a sizeable percentage of liability. This guarantees that she has won her claim and will be entitled to compensation once the parties have valued the case.

 

BXB v Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – February 2020

Kate Stone reached a negotiated settlement in respect of liability for her adult client following issue of court proceedings.  Her client was born in 1997 at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Wales, which comes under the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. Judgment has now been entered for the brachial plexus injury.  This client is now at an age when a final prognosis is possible so the focus is now on gathering appropriate medical evidence in order to assess the extent to which this injury will affect her throughout her life in order to quantify her past and future losses.

 

CXC v Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – October 2019 - £550,000

Stuart Bramley and Michelle Beckett negotiated a settlement for a girl who suffered Erb’s Palsy when the shoulder dystocia which arose during her delivery was inappropriately handled.

This was an injury of some severity – rather than being stretched, as occurs in many instances of Erb’s, some of the cervical nerves had become severed as a result of the birth. Even after nerve grafting from elsewhere in the body, the child’s mobility remained limited and will remain so for life.

Tozers took over conduct of the claim after it had initially been handled by different law firm and following denials of negligence by the Defendant NHS Trust, we needed to issue proceedings at court to secure justice for the Claimant. Evidence was exchanged and it was not until a trial date had been set that the opponents proposed a Joint Settlement Meeting, at which £550,000 was agreed to be paid which will help the girl to overcome the challenges posed by her medical condition. Compensation agreed included care, physiotherapy, equipment, disadvantage on the labour market and help with household tasks. There was no formal admission of liability by the Trust.

 

ZYX v York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – August 2019 - £550,000

Clair Hemming took over this claim from another firm of solicitors. The Claimant had Erb’s Palsy from birth in 2006 at Scarborough Hospital. Despite remedial surgery and extensive physiotherapy she had been left with reduced range of movement. This claim was fiercely defended by the Trust who argued that the birth, which had been complicated by shoulder dystocia, had been managed with reasonable care. Negotiations were very protracted as the parties were significantly apart in terms of their assessment of the evidence and what would be appropriate compensation should a finding be made for the Claimant. Finally, the case was settled just a few weeks before it was due to go to Trial for the sum of £550,000 without a formal admission of liability.

 

DXD v Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust – July 2019 - £900,000

Kate Stone took over the claim from another firm of solicitors. The Hospital Trust had already admitted negligence in managing the child’s delivery in 2009 at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. The question of quantum was, however, a very vexed issue. 

In addition to her Erb’s palsy, the Claimant also suffered from another condition which is progressive in nature and unrelated to the negligence. The medical evidence obtained in relation to this condition was that the extent and rate of any degeneration was unknown and very variable from patient to patient. The Defendant expert presented a gloomy picture that her mobility was likely to be affected such that she would require walking aids as early as in her thirties. This would obviously impact upon the value of the claim in relation to future losses to include her future care needs and working capacity. 

In addition, she developed an extreme and unusual psychological reaction to the injury such that she had become socially isolated and suffered panic attacks.

Despite our client’s mother seeking appropriate help for her daughter’s psychological issues both from her GP and the school, such help was refused on the basis that her daughter did not meet the appropriate thresholds.  In the context of the claim, however, we were able to secure funding for timely treatment and after a shaky start her mother reported that she was responding very well to the counselling and that she had noticed a marked improvement in her daughter’s attitude to her injury and that she was generally much happier.

We reached settlement with the Defendant for a sum just shy of £900,000 at a joint settlement meeting.

 

EXE v Liverpool Womens NHS Foundation Trust - June 2019

Kate Stone achieved a full admission of liability from Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust for the brachial plexus injury her client sustained at birth. Her client was born in 2016 and sustained an Erb’s Palsy injury, Narakas Grade III. As she is still so young a final prognosis at this stage is not possible. Court proceedings have been stayed until she reaches puberty when the full extent of the injury will be known. Her parents can now concentrate on her care rather than the claim, safe in the knowledge that she will, in time, be fully compensated for all her past and future losses.

 

TXT v Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Trust – April 2019 - £14.5 million

Shoulder dystocia occurred during T’s birth in 1997. It was alleged that this was mismanaged by midwifery staff who caused trauma to brachial plexus and a delay in delivering leading to a brain haemorrhage and scarring which affected cognitive function.

A compromise was agreed with the Defendant that they accept liability for injury on a 75% basis.   Proceedings were stayed for a number of years to allow the then 12-year-old boy to mature to accurately assess the implications of the subtle brain damage. An interim payment enabled a rehabilitation and support package to be put in place. Investigations were resurrected in 2018 and included extensive neuropsychological and psychiatric assessment given the complex behavioural problems and anxieties which hindered rehabilitation, independence and capacity.

Clair Hemming acted on behalf of T in what was a highly unusual/unprecedented case. A settlement was negotiated with the Defendant who accepted that the Claimant who had a full life expectancy, would require 24-hour support (including waking night care), would never work and would require a Deputy for life.

Damages were agreed at £14.5 million representing 75% of £19.3 million.

 

CDE – Missing medical records - December 2018 - £1,326,000

Endurance Arthur acted for a 23 year old client with a severe Obstetric Brachial Plexus Palsy who recovered £1.326 million in damages. The case had a shaky start because the records needed to prove the mistakes made during the birth had been lost by the hospital and never materialised. Nonetheless, a strong case was put together which eventually forced the Defendant Trust to admit liability. As well as severe physical limitations associated with a group 3 injury, the client suffered depression and other psychological problems as a result of the negligence. In settling the claim, we acknowledged that our client is a determined individual who will find a way to succeed in life, although her condition may force her to retire early. The settlement was split into a lump sum and annual payments for life – possibly a first of this kind at the time for an Erb’s claimant.

 

PXP – September 2018 - £1,350,000

Simon Mansfield achieved an award of £1,350,000 for a 22 year old young man who suffered a Group II Erb’s Palsy injury during his birth in 1996.

The client’s mother had originally instructed previous solicitors who advised that he didn’t have a claim but approached Tozers for a second opinion when the extent of the problems he had as a result of his Erb’s Palsy became apparent as he grew up. On receiving instructions it was immediately clear that the Client had a strong case and we went on to secure an admission of liability from the Defendant without needing to obtain full expert evidence. 

After securing the admission of liability, detailed quantum investigations were undertaken and settlement was achieved at a round table meeting in 2018 with an estimated £600,000 recovered for the Client’s likely future loss of earnings and pension.

 

KXK v The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust – January 2018 - £750,000

K was born at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in 2007. Being a large baby, she became stuck during delivery (shoulder dystocia), and her brachial plexus was injured by the doctor who delivered her. Although initially defending the claim once proceedings were issued and the evidence exchanged, the Trust indicated that they wanted to negotiate rather than go to Trial. The assessment of damages was put on hold for 2 years as K was too young to accurately assess the impact of her injury. In addition to her Erb’s Palsy K had been diagnosed with ADHD. 

Once the case resumed having obtained extensive expert evidence and undertaking the necessary investigations, Clair Hemming participated in a mediation with the Trust and reached a settlement in the sum of £750,000, which will be held and invested in Court until the Claimant is 18 years of age.

 

BXX - December 2017 - £950,000

BXX sustained a severe group 2 brachial plexus palsy affecting nerves C5, C6 and C7 during her birth at Queen Mary Hospital in 2003. She alleged that the defendant failed to warn her mother of the risk of shoulder dystocia during her delivery denying her mother the option of a delivery by Caesarean section. It was accepted that a Caesarean section would have avoided the injury. Liability was admitted in the claim but as there was a risk of deterioration in the Claimant’s function until she reached skeletal maturity, the claim was stayed on several occasions.    The claim was quantified when the girl was 14 years, and Endurance Arthur negotiated a settlement for £950,000.

 

GXX - September 2016 - £1,250,000

Simon Mansfield secured damages of £1,250,000 for a client who suffered a Group II – III Erb’s Palsy injury as a result of admitted negligence during birth in 1996.

This case was unusual as although initially recovery was good and they did not require surgery,  the client went on to develop significant pain in the shoulder and subsequently had to undergo 7 operations over the course of 8 years in an effort to relieve the pain.

Whilst these would produce some improvement, each time the pain returned with the medical evidence from pain management specialists indicating that the client was likely to suffer from periods of severe pain for the remainder of their life.

At a settlement meeting in 2016, Simon was able to secure damages of £1,250,000 for the client to secure their financial future and ensure that they had funds for the anticipated support they needed.

 

MXM -  December 2016 - £550,000

One month before trial, Endurance Arthur settled a claim for a 17 year old girl who sustained a group 2 brachial plexus palsy injury during her delivery.  The defendant Trust was still contesting liability but a settlement of £550,000 was reached and approved by the court.  The client was very bright and determined.  Despite her physical limitations and the pain she experienced during these activities, she played the piano and violin to a high standard and she rode horses. She eventually fulfilled her life’s ambition and was accepted to train as a commercial airline pilot. There are many uncertainties as to whether she will qualify and work as a pilot. At the time of settlement it was acknowledged that she would succeed in whatever career path she took, so her loss of earnings claim was limited. 

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