Litigation Personal Injury 15/11/99

Richard Sheppard v Dr Simon Moore (1999) QBD (Butterfield J) 5 October 1999

Claimant: Male, 40 years old at date of accident; 46 years old at date of settlement.

Incident: In January 1994 the claimant attended the defendant GP's surgery with acute chest pains, believing it to be indigestion. The defendant prescribed indigestion medicine and sent the claimant home. The claimant suffered a heart attack outside the surgery and collapsed. The defendant was called outside and made attempts to resuscitate his patient before he was taken to hospital by ambulance. The claimant brought an action against the defendant alleging that the GP had been negligent in failing to refer him immediately to hospital. He alleged that the defendant had information available to him of the claimant's family history of coronary heart disease, that the claimant had a history of cigarette smoking, was overweight and had abnormally high cholesterol. It was argued that the defendant should have responded appropriately to these risk factors by sending the claimant to hospital.

Injuries: The claimant suffered anoxic brain damage as a result of his brain being starved of oxygen due to the heart attack. The claimant's intellect was impaired and his memory was reduced to 30 per cent of normal. He could not return to his pre-accident career as a managing director of two food trading companies. The claimant required constant care which, at the date of settlement, was provided by one of his close friends.

Award: £1,575,000 total damages (out of court settlement).

Claimant's counsel: Dan Brennan QC and Jonathan Harvey

Claimant's solicitor: Penningtons, Surrey

Moses Awoyemi v Huddersfield NHS Trust (1999) QBD (Buckley J) 11 October 1999

Claimant: Male, newborn at date of accident; eight years old at date of settlement.

Incident: The claimant was injured in February 1991 during the course of his birth at the defendant hospital. The claimant's shoulder became temporarily stuck in the birth canal and force was required to effect his delivery. Liability disputed.

Injuries: The claimant suffered nerve damage in the course of his delivery and his right arm was rendered partially paralysed. The claimant was left with severely restricted movement in his dominant right arm. While his limb was still useful, the elbow movement in particular caused the claimant the most significant disability. The claimant had made good progress, but his condition would not improve and he would have to permanently contend with his disability.

Award: £140,000 total damages (out of court settlement).

Claimant's counsel: Richard Cartwright

Claimant's solicitor: Irwin Mitchell