Drake v Langdale – QBD, 12 November 1996

Claimant: Leslie Drake, 3Incident: Medical negligence

Injuries: Claimant, father of two, left severely brain damaged after family doctor allegedly failed to treat him properly during an acute asthma attack. Incident took place 10 years ago after the claimant, a former Royal Marine and trainee electrician at the time, was starved of oxygen during an asthma attack

Award: £2,397,890 (agreed damages)

Judge: Mr Justice Ian Kennedy

Plaintiff's counsel: John Samuels QC

Plaintiff's solicitor: Turners

Brown v Kalam – QBD, 12 November 1996

Claimant: Peter Brown, 4Incident: Road traffic accident

Injuries: Claimant received severe brain damage after motorcycle he was riding was involved in a head-on crash. Result of the injuries was that initially it was thought unlikely he would ever leave institutional care. However, he is now settled in his own home with a team of five professional carers working round the clock to look after him. His ability to communicate is extremely limited and he is able to do very little for himself. He was unconscious for two months after the crash in which he suffered a massive closed head injury

Award: £1.4 million (agreed damages)

Judge: Mr Justice Ian Kennedy

Plaintiff's counsel: John Crowley QC

Plaintiff's solicitor: Liddell Zurbrugg

Bell v Ivac Corporation – QBD, 11 November 1996

Claimant: Gemma Bell, 1Incident: Medical negligence

Injuries: Claimant left severely disabled for life as result of air embolism. She was born nine weeks prematurely at University College Hospital, London, and a few hours after birth was given a glucose solution intravenously. Unknown to medical staff, the machine used, manufactured by California-based Ivac Corporation, had a hair-line crack. As a result air got into the system and was pumped into her bloodstream, reaching her spinal column and causing an air embolism. It was initially feared she would be rendered paraplegic but court was told that, against the odds, she had learnt to walk and now attends a mainstream school

Award: £160,000 (agreed damages)

Judge: Mr Justice Sachs

Plaintiff's counsel: Lawrence West

Plaintiff's solicitor: Charles Russell