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Negligent Hospital Hysterectomy Compensation Awarded to Secretary

A female, who suffered both physical and emotional injuries due to the negligence of a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, has been awarded €438,000 in negligent hospital hysterectomy compensation following a court hearing.

Cynthia Kinsella (52) from Terenure, Dublin, underwent the initial surgical procedure at Mount Carmel Hospital in April 2008 after contracting menorrhagia – an illness which causes severe menstrual bleeding. Three weeks after her surgical procedure she started leaking from the bladder – a condition known as medically as a fistula – which lead to significant distress and loss of amenity.

The surgeon overseeing the initial operation – consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Gerry Rafferty – was also present, assisting, at a second operation in July in an attempt to resolve the issue; where it was found that the menorrhagia may have been attributable to a misplaced suture in the bladder. After discovering that the most likely cause of her injury was hospital negligence, Cynthia sought legal guidance and subsequently made a claim for negligent hospital hysterectomy compensation.

Dr Rafferty claimed that Ms Kinsella’s condition was due to a rare complication of the hysterectomy procedure and he denied his liability for Cynthia´s injuries. However, at Dublin´s High Court, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill did not accept the surgeon´s argument and found in favour of Cynthia negligent hospital hysterectomy claim for compensation.

The court was informed that in November 2008 Cynthia had been made redundant from her senior secretarial position with an engineering firm. She was unable to find another role eue to a combination of her fistula condition and the severe anxiety disorder she suffered from.

The judge ruled that Cynthia´s capacity for work had been affected by her condition and that there was small chance of her finding future employment because of it. Awarding Cynthia €200,000 for past and future pain and suffering, €225,000 for past and future loss of salary and €13,184 for negligent hospital hysterectomy special damages, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill said that if it had been the case that Cynthia had not suffered as a result of the hysterectomy operation, he was of the belief that she would have in all probability found different employment following her redundancy.

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Hospital Delayed Action Compensation Approved in Court

A settlement of compensation for hospital delayed compensation has been approved at the High Court in the case of Brid Courtney – two years after the brain damaged child was awarded an interim payment.

Brid, who is now nine years of age and comes from Ardfert in County Kerry, was born in Tralee General Hospital in February 2003 suffering from brain damage after medical staff at the hospital allegedly failed to act on a sudden and dramatic change in the foetal heart rate pattern.

As a result of the decrease in heart beat, Brid suffered perinatal asphyxia in the womb and because of the oxygen starvation is now confined to a wheelchair from which she has to be lifted bodily. Additionally, she is unable to speak and has to rely on the use of her eyes and facial expressions to communicate with her family.

After a claim for injury due to delayed hospital action made through her mother – Deidre – the Health Service Executive agreed to settle the claim without admission of liability and, in November 2010, Mr Justice John Quirke approved an interim payment of 2 million Euros and adjourned the case for two years to allow for the introduction of periodic payments.

However, a system for periodic compensation payments for catastrophic injuries has still not been brought in by the government and – two years after the initial payment of compensation for hospital delayed  action was approved – the case returned before the court for the approval of a final settlement.

At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard evidence from experts that a further 9 million Euros in compensation for delayed hospital action would have to provide adequate care for Brid through the remainder of her expected life and, as both Brid´s mother and the Health Service Executive agreed with the expert´s assessment, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement.

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Delayed Eye Injury Diagnosis Claim Heard in Court

A former student, who suffers severe spasticity of the limbs and has eye movement problems allegedly due to the negligence of a Galway hospital, has had his delayed diagnosis of an eye injury claim heard in court.

Seamus Walshe Jnr (27) of Taylor´s Hill, Galway, was a 21-year-old student in a course of construction studies when he first started suffering problems with his eyes in 2006 whenever he looked upwards. His symptoms deteriorated to the point where upward eye movement left him feeling nauseous and he would being to vomit.

Seamus attended Galway University Hospital with his problems, but was told after a neurological examination that there was nothing seriously wrong with him and he should get used to having persistent problems with his eyes.

Seamus went back to Galway University Hospital later in the year when he started to develop pains in his head and underwent a scan which revealed a brain tumour. He was referred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where he had surgery to remove the tumour in May 2007.

However, issues during the brain tumour operation resulted in severe haemorrhaging around the brain and Seamus was kept in intensive care for nine weeks following surgery. When he started to recover, he was sent back to Galway University Hospital in November 2007.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court heard that in September 2008 Seamus was sent to the National Rehab Centre but, because of the alleged negligent treatment he had received, was restricted to a wheelchair with spasticity of the limbs and had problems moving his eyes.

Seamus made a compensation claim for the delayed diagnosis of his brain tumour through his father, Seamus Snr, claiming that had he had a scan when he first attended the Galway University Hospital, the tumour would have been discovered earlier and he would have been referred to the Beaumont Hospital sooner.

A second claim was made against the Beaumont Hospital for opting to perform brain surgery when treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy had resulted in long term survival rates of up to 90 percent.

Both the Health Service Executive – on behalf of Galway University Hospital – and the Beaumont Hospital denied their liability for Seamus´ injury, but Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that a negotiated settlement of 2.5 million Euros in compensation for the delayed diagnosis of a brain tumour had been settled on without admission of liability.

The settlement of compensation is intended to provide Seamus with the care he needs for the next three years, after which time a structured periodic payment system would provide for his future care if legislation was introduced by the Government in time to allow such a payment structure.

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New Government Statistics Show Fewer Claims for Whiplash Injury Compensation

The Department for Works and Pensions Compensation Recovery Unit as released figures  that show claims for whiplash injury compensation have fallen year-on-year by more than 4 percent.

An overall amount of 547,405 claims for whiplash injury compensation were recorded by the Compensation Recovery Unit in 2011/2012, whereas in the previous twelve months 571,111 whiplash injury compensation claims were registered.

This drop in the volume of claims for whiplash injury compensation was noted by president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) – Karl Tonks – when he was giving evidence to a Transport Select Committee ahead of the latest amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2012.

Mr Tonks also reveal the outcome of a survey prepared on behalf of APIL by market research company Canadean which showed that 40 percent of people eligible to make claims for whiplash injury compensation declined to do so. The survey also revealed that 1 percent of people who answered the survey had suffered a whiplash injury in the past twelve months, while 20 percent of those had experienced a whiplash injury in the past suffered symptoms of their whiplash injury for more than twelve months.

The Government is expected to reveal a strategy for new specialist medical panels to support improvements in the diagnosis of whiplash and to increase from 1,000 pounds to 5,000 pounds the value up to which claims can be handled by the small claims court, but Mr Tonks warned the Transport Select Committee that the Government could be embarking on a potentially damaging reform agenda.

Agreeing that a “universal commitment was required to reduce the number of fraudulent claims for whiplash injury compensation”, Mr Tonks added “But it’s even more important to stand firm against any move to put barriers in the way of the majority of people who have genuine injuries and who need to make genuine claims.” Mr Tonks presented a ten point plan to the Transport Select Committee which he hoped could be discussed with the Government.

1. Information on fraud to be freely available to all parties to help identify possible fraudsters

2. Claimants to be legally bound statement of truth

3. Ban insurance companies from paying compensation without medical evidence

4. No offers of gifts or cash to potential clients to be made by any party involved

5. Enforcement of future ban preventing insurance companies from selling the details of claimants’

6. Identities of potential expert witnesses to be shared by all sides involed

7. New guideline to help medics identify and understand whiplash injury to a greater extent

8. Photo Identification to be provided when attending a medical

9. Claimant´s solicitor to arrange access to relevant medical records

10. Spam texting to be outlawed

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Compensation for Hospital Mismanaged Birth Approved in Court

A woman, who was starved of oxygen at birth and has suffered a lifetime of learning difficulties, has had a settlement of compensation for her hospital mismanaged birth approved at London´s Royal Courts of Justice.

Susanne Turner (45) from Wittersham in Kent was born at Buchanan Street Hospital in St Leonards-on-Sea after a delayed Caesarean operation due to neither a surgeon nor an anaesthetist being available to perform the procedure at the time. Due to this, Susanne was deprived of oxygen in the womb, unable to breathe independently when she was born and suffered severe brain damage.

Susanne´s parents – Christopher and Sandra – brought up Susanne without assistance, and unaware that they were entitled to claim compensation for the hospital mismanaged birth, until they read a magazine article which explained Susanne´s rights to compensation.

When they sought legal advice about their situation, Christopher and Sandra discovered that – as Susanne did not have the mental capacity to bring a claim for hospital mismanaged birth compensation herself – they were still within the time frame allowed to sue the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority for the negligent situation which had occurred in 1967.

After reviewing the claim for hospital mismanaged birth compensation, South East Coast Strategic Health Authority quickly admitted their liability for Susanne´s birth injury and, at the Royal Courts of Justice, issued a formal apology for the mismanagement of Susanne´s birth.

Approving the settlement of compensation for hospital mismanaged birth, which will take the form of annual payments and a lump sum payment to pay for a specially-adapted home for Susanne, judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies paid tribute to Christopher and Sandra´s “love and devotion”. The settlement is estimated to be worth 4.2 million pounds and will provide Susanne with the care she needs for the remainder of her life.

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High Court Compensation for Early Hospital Discharge

A female, who was released from hospital just eight hours after being admitted with a broken pelvis, has won a High Court hearing and been awarded with 35,000 pounds in early hospital discharge compensation.

Lydia Eaton (102) from Wigmore, Kent, sued the Medway NHS Trust through her daughter after she was unable to walk independently following the events of March 2007. Lydia, who had broken her pelvis in a fall near her home, was taken to the A&E Department of Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham but discharged after just eight hours and given with a prescription for painkillers.

Lydia´s physical condition deteriorated after she returned home and, as her mobility decreased, started to develop sores and ulcers. Her family, it was claimed at London´s High Court, were given no instruction on how to deal with Lydia´s condition or support from the hospital, and the following month Lydia was moved into a nursing home.

Judge Sweeney at the High Court heard solicitors on behalf of Lydia contend that Lydia would still be living independently and able to walk had it not been for the negligence of doctors at the Medway Maritime Hospital and they advised the judge that, since the claim for early hospital discharge compensation had been filed, Lydia had been forced to move into another – more expensive – nursing home where a higher level of care could be provided.

Finding in favour of Lydia, Judge Sweeney agreed that the hospital had been negligent in prematurely releasing Lydia from hospital – a situation which had directly resulted in the deterioration of her condition. The judge made the award of 35,000 pounds in early hospital discharge compensation to Lydia and ordered that it be placed in a trust fund to pay for Lydia´s care.

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Paramedic Awarded Compensation for Brain Surgery Negligence

An ex-paramedic, who was left severely disabled after doctors removed the wrong part of his brain, has accepted a seven figure settlement of compensation for brain surgery negligence from the NHS Trust responsible for the error.

John Tunney (63) from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, went under the operation in April 2008 after an MRI scan had revealed abnormalities around his pituitary gland. However, instead of abstracting the tumour, surgeons took away healthy tissue during the operation which resulted in John´s brain hemorrhaging.

The error left John partially blind and requiring 24 hour care. He later learned that the operation had not even been necessary as doctors had failed to check the results of a blood test which would have revealed that John was suffering from prolactinoma – a benign and common pituitary tumour which can be medically treated with tablets.

After taking legal advice, John – who worked for the West Midlands Ambulance Service as a paramedic for 23 years – made a claim for brain surgery negligence compensation against the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and, after an investigation, the NHS Trust admitted liability for the dual error.

John´s solicitors entered into negotiations with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust over how much compensation for brain surgery negligence should be awarded and, although details of the final settlement have not been released, a settlement in excess of one million pounds has been agreed.

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Family to Receive Compensation for Hospital Misdiagnosis of Meningitis

The family of a six-year-old girl, who were told their daughter was well enough to return home when suffering from pneumococcal meningitis, are to receive an anticipated seven figure payout in compensation for hospital misdiagnosis of meningitis.

Kate Pierce from Wrexham, North Wales, was just nine months of age when she developed the infection and was taken to Wrexham´s Maelor Hospital. A junior doctor diagnosed Kate with viral tonsillitis and advised her parents it was safe to take her home. When asked if they could have a second opinion, Kate´s parents were told that the guidance of a senior doctor had been sought when it in fact had not.

Kate´s parents took the little girl home but, when her condition deteriorated further, returned to the hospital the next day. On their return Kate was properly diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and transferred to Liverpool´s Alder Hey Children´s Hospital. However, Kate had already suffered severe brain damage and now suffers from chronic lung disease, severe epilepsy and is registered both blind and deaf.

The family took legal counsel about claiming compensation for hospital misdiagnosis of meningitis and sued the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board for medical negligence – claiming that the severity of Kate´s condition could have been avoided if she had been diagnosed correctly. After an investigation into the misdiagnosis claims, Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board admitted 75 per cent liability for Kate´s injuries and, at Mold County Court, a judge heard that a compromise situation had been reached.

How much compensation for hospital misdiagnosis of meningitis Kate´s family will receive will be decided at a hearing later this year.

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Woman to Receive Compensation for Hospital Surgical Procedure Error

A Nottingham woman, who was left with cerebral palsy after being starved of oxygen during a routine operation when she was a baby, has been awarded a six-figure settlement of compensation for hospital surgical procedure error at London´s High Court.

Stacey Jayne Smith (24) was brought to Nottingham City Hospital in 1988 with a high temperature and doctors, suspecting gall stones, scheduled an operation to removed Stacey Jayne´s gall bladder. However, as Mr Justice Tugendhat at the High Court heard, during the surgical procedure Stacey Jayne´s bowel was punctured and she went into cardiac arrest.

Although she was resuscitated, Stacy Jayne´s heart had stopped and she suffered catastrophic brain injuries as a result. Stacey Jayne now has cerebral palsy and had to cope throughout her childhood with severe learning difficulties and experiences problems with walking long distances.

Stacey Jayne´s parents made a hospital negligence claim against the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority (EMSHA) who, after an investigation, acknowledged their error and agreed an undisclosed settlement of compensation for hospital surgical procedure error which is believe to be in six figures.

Approving the hospital compensation settlement, Mr Justice Tugendhat said “I do express my sympathy to Stacey’s family and wish them all the best for the future. Stacey has been very fortunate in the support her family has given her, so lovingly, for so long.”

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Hospital Medical Negligence Claims Against NHS Rise due to Increased Awareness

Increased awareness of patient rights has resulted in a dramatic increase in hospital medical negligence claims against the National Health Service (NHS). According to government figures, the number of claims made in the past five years has gone up from 5,697 to 8,655 per year, and has forced the NHS Litigation Authority to seek additional funding from the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansbury.

Tom Fothergill, financial director of the NHS Litigation Authority, admitted that marketing campaigns by “No Win, No Fee” solicitors had added to the public body´s financial shortfall and had added a premium to legal costs. However, he was also eager to point out that legislation which linked the wages of claimants´ carers to earnings rather than inflation has also led to increased amount of payouts.

With approximately 100 hospital medical negligence claims a year relating to birth injury compensation, and the average value of each claim close to 6 million pounds in the lifetime of the child, an improvement in the survival rates of brain damaged babies – who will require a lifetime of care – has also placed significant strain on the NHS Litigation Authority´s budget.

A further 185 million pounds is needed by the NHS Litigation Authority to prevent it running out of money by the end of the fiscal year, a sum which has been approved by Mr Lansbury and health minister Lord Howe. Following the announcement of the bail-out Lord Howe revealed “Following a review of claims, we have made additional funds available to the NHS Litigation Authority in order to make sure that those claimants who are entitled to compensation receive it in a timely way.”

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