William Alec Davies v Paul A Clarkson (1999) QBD (McKinnon J) 28 April 1999

Plaintiff: Male, married with children, 28 years old at date of accident; 35 years old at date of judgment.

Incident: The plaintiff was standing by a parked car when he was hit by the defendant's car. Liability admitted.

Injuries: The plaintiff sustained a serious brain injury, a compound displacement of his left knee, a ruptured ligament in his right knee, a fractured left collar bone and numerous grazes. He was unconscious for several hours and had post-traumatic amnesia. After five operations on his left knee, he had a total left knee replacement. He had constant pain in his left leg and circulatory problems. He was unable to walk far without a walking stick and suffered severe headaches. It was clear he had suffered organic brain damage. His personality had also changed, becoming irritable and bad tempered. He was diagnosed as severely depressed and unlikely to improve, probably remaining unemployable.

Award: u607,522.67 total damages.

Plaintiff's solicitor: Linskills (Liverpool)

Plaintiff's counsel: William Braithwaite QC

(1) Mark Scotter (2) Tara Marie Scotter (3) Kirsty Jayne Scotter v Queen Mary's Sidcup NHS Trust (1999) QBD (Turner J) 26 April 1999

Plaintiff: The claimants were the widower and children of the deceased, who had died at the age of 33.

Incident: On 2 August 1994 the deceased was discharged from hospital after the birth of her second child. That evening she went to bed early with a bad headache. At 10pm her husband found her having a fit. An ambulance was called and she was taken to the defendant hospital. An initial diagnosis of a viral infection was made and a CT scan arranged for the next day. The doctors then diagnosed her with meningitis and treated her on this basis, discharging her from hospital on 15 August 1994. While the severity of the symptoms subsided, she still had headaches and nausea. In January 1995 she suffered severe pain in her neck and lost consciousness. She was admitted to Brook Hospital but died three days later. A post-mortem revealed she had suffered three sub-arachnoid haemorrhages. The claimants brought an action under the Fatal Accidents Act 1984 and the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 alleging the defendant hospital was negligent in failing to diagnose the condition.

Injuries: Over six months she suffered three sub-arachnoid haemorrhages. She died in January 1995 leaving a husband and two young children.

Award: u150,000 total damages (out of court settlement). The figure was a compromise, taking into account the particular causation difficulties. The defendant claimed that even if a correct diagnosis was made in August 1994, the condition may still have been fatal as the course of treatment had a low success rate.

Plaintiff's solicitor: Charles Russell

Plaintiff's counsel: Michael Tillett QC

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