Tony Hall, partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors, has recently concluded a £2m clinical negligence case, which after eight years resulted in a positive result for the client (M).
M developed a significant disability called hydrocephalous (commonly known as ‘water on the brain’) in his late 20s, which was treated by way of a shunt, allowing the movement of fluid from his brain. Despite various medical problems arising from this, he was able to work normally until he decided to take early retirement following his employer’s relocation.
In his mid-50s, M had to undergo a revision of an artificial hip joint. During the course of his rehabilitation, he developed various problems including a prolapsed bowel. Following surgery for this, he was noted to be unusually drowsy and so was investigated by way of CT imaging, which later indicated that M had sustained a ‘hypoxic brain injury’ during the procedure. This left him with multiple neurological dysfunction and his independence was significantly compromised.
Clinical negligence lawyers at Anthony Collins Solicitors were instructed to pursue a clinical negligence claim against the hospital trust that carried out the surgery. The case was complex in that it was initially impossible to determine how the hypoxic brain injury had developed. A number of medical experts were asked to piece the jigsaw together and a multi-disciplinary approach to the liability issues was required.
The hospital trust initially denied the claim but later admitted breach of duty; however, it maintained denial of causation.
M was in urgent need of rehabilitation and an interim payment to fund this, but due to the complexity, this was likely to take years to achieve. However, with a critical need for accommodation, care and rehabilitation, the team made an urgent application to the court for an interim payment and also requested that the court enter judgment against the defendant notwithstanding its denial of the claim, on the basis that it did not have a logical rationale. The application was ultimately successful and the court awarded judgment on liability with damages to be assessed in their favour.
Finally, the judge approved a settlement valued in excess of £2m.