Litigation Writs 11/06/96

Pride Valley Foods is suing its insurers after they refused to pay a £6 million claim following a fire last December at its factory in Seaham, Co Durham. In the writ, Pride Valley says it took out insurance with Independent Insurance Co and Lombard General Insurance Co last November. The fire, Pride Valley claims, caused £3 million worth of damage to buildings, £2.5 million damage to plant and machinery costing, £200,000 worth of damage to stock, and led to debris removal costs of £20,000. Business interruption costs have not yet been quantified. Pride Valley says the two companies refused to accept its claim in breach of contract.

Writ issued by Dawson & Co, London WC2.

A woman who claims her leg had to be amputated because of medical negligence is suing Southend Health Authority. Pauline Cole, 43, claims that if staff at Southend Hospital had diagnosed and treated her condition earlier, she would not have lost her leg. She claims she was given treatment that was inadequate and too late. Her writ says she had a sudden illness in September 1993, developed a pain in her left foot four days later, and was then admitted to the hospital as an emergency. A provisional diagnosis was made of a viral illness with a possible deep vein thrombosis, and she was given penicillin and morphine. But later, a junior nurse found her left foot was blue and mottled. She underwent an operation and was treated in the intensive care unit, then underwent a second operation the next day but developed severe septic shock and her left leg was amputated through the knee. Later, an above-knee amputation was performed. The writ accuses the health authority of negligently failing to appreciate the emergency, failing to diagnose her condition, failing to examine the pulses in her leg, failing to examine her leg properly or to seek more senior opinion, failing to appreciate the seriousness of her condition, and failing to perform the first operation earlier.

Writ issued by Prettys, Ipswich.

Bell Cablemedia and nine other associated companies have launched a fraud action against Michael Simmons of Riverside, Wraysbury, Staines, claiming the recovery of money received by him. Bell Cablemedia is also claiming damages for fraud.

Writ issued by Linklaters & Paines, London EC2.