Litigation Personal injury 24/5/99

Samantha Raven (widow and administrator of the estate of Tony Mark Raven) v Dr Patel, Dr Rao, Queen Mary's Sidcup Trust (1999) QDB (Buckley J) 10 May 99

Plaintiff: Female, 27 years old at date of accident; 31 years old at date of settlement. The plaintiff was the widow of the deceased ('D'), who had died on 30 March 1995 at the age of 27.

Incident: In August 1994, D suffered injury while playing football. He attended the casualty department of a local hospital and later visited his GP complaining of severe headaches, which he continued to have regularly over a period of two years. As time passed, he developed other symptoms of nausea, dizziness and blurred vision. On 27 March 1995, D's condition worsened and an ambulance was called to his home. On the way to hospital, he suffered a respiratory arrest. He was intubated and a craniotomy was performed. Despite medical efforts, D died on 30 March 1995. The plaintiff brought an action on behalf of herself and her son under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and on behalf of D's estate under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1937. She alleged that the medical staff who had treated her husband were negligent in that they had failed to heed the fact that his headaches persisted and had not taken appropriate steps to determine the cause. She alleged that if her husband had been properly managed, death could have been avoided.

Injuries: A post-mortem revealed that D had suffered from brain stem compression as a result of raised intracranial pressure from a benign tumour. D died from his condition leaving a wife and son.

Award: u135,000 total damages (out of court settlement).

Plaintiff's solicitor: Thompsons

Plaintiff's counsel: Charles Lewis QC

Susan Chicken v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire (1999) Leeds CC (HH Judge Bush) 28 April 1999

Plaintiff: Female, 38 years old at date of accident; 44 years old at date of trial. The plaintiff was employed by the defendant as a clerical worker based at a local police station.

Incident: She was injured on 1 March 1993 when she slipped on snow in the station car park and fell. At the time of the accident, the station caretaker had responsibility for clearing snow from the car park. He operated a system which involved placing grit and salt on top of the snow after it had fallen. No preventative steps were taken and only the access route between the parking bays were treated. The caretaker did not work on a Saturday or Sunday and when the plaintiff's accident occurred on a Monday morning, the weekend's snowfall had been left to accumulate. The plaintiff brought an action in negligence alleging that the system for snow clearing at the time was inadequate.

Injuries: On falling to the ground, the plaintiff felt an immediate pain in the lumbar spine region of her back. She received hospital treatment and was diagnosed with a prolapsed invertebral disc. As a result of her spinal injury, she endured a continual lower back pain. Further medical examination revealed that she had a flattened lumbar lordosis. Her injuries had impacted upon her employment prospects.

Award: u18,204.50 total damages.

Plaintiff's solicitor: Thompsons

Plaintiff's counsel: Andrew Prestwich QC

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