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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Woman Wins Medical Negligence Claim for being Given Wrong Medicine

A woman in Philadelphia was won her medical negligence claim for being given the wrong medicine, after a mistake at her local surgery caused her to go into cardiac arrest.

Jacqueline DiTore attended the Abington Surgical Centre in Pennsylvania on 7 June 2010 for an elective nasal procedure. Before starting the procedure, her surgeon – Dr Warren Zager – asked a nurse to prepare an anaesthetic injection of 1 percent lidocaine to soak some cotton balls soaked in a nasal decongestant (Afrin) to control the bleeding during the procedure.

The nurse poured the nasal decongestant into a bowl in order to soak the cotton balls before preparing the anaesthetic; but a second nurse mistook the contents of the bowl as lidocaine, drew the liquid into a syringe which she then passed to the doctor. Unaware that the syringe contained decongestant, Dr Zager injected the Afrin into Jacqueline´s nose, and then started to prepare for the surgery.

An anaesthetist present in the operating theatre noticed that Jacqueline´s heart rate had fallen to 36 beats per minute and – unaware that Jacqueline had been injected with enough Afrin to cause a 100-fold increase in vasoconstrictive activity (the narrowing of the blood vessels) – administered an anticholinergic which returned Jacqueline´s heart rate to 80 beats per minute.

When Dr Zager returned to begin the procedure, Jacqueline still had a sensation in her nose and the doctor asked for more 1 percent lidocaine. He was told that the surgery only had 2 percent lidocaine and it was then that the mistake with the nasal decongestant was discovered. Dr Zager chose to continue with the procedure regardless, and administered the 2 percent lidocaine into Jacqueline´s nose.

Following the injection of lidocaine, Jacqueline´s heart rate soared to 140 beats per minute and her blood pressure registered 260/150. At that point labetalol (a drug used to lower high blood pressure) was administered which caused Jacqueline´s blood pressure to crash and she went into cardiac arrest. Jacqueline was rushed to nearby Abington Memorial Hospital where she was resuscitated.

It soon became apparent that Jacqueline had suffered brain damage during the cardiac arrest which left her with impaired cognitive abilities, difficulty with her speech and vision, and short-term memory loss. Doctors advised her that her brain injury is likely to deteriorate as she gets older and, after speaking with a solicitor, Jacqueline made a medical negligence claim for being given the wrong medicine.

Both the Abington Surgical Centre and Dr Zager denied that they were liable for Jacqueline´s injury; arguing that Dr Zager was right to continue with the nasal procedure as the anaesthetic administered in the second injection did not compound the effect of the Afrin, and therefore did not contribute to her reaction. It was also claimed that Jacqueline was “high-functioning”, and that her condition was not as serious as she had claimed.

Jacqueline´s medical negligence claim for being given the wrong medicine went to Montgomery County Court in Philadelphia before Judge Thomas M. Del Ricci. After several weeks of testimony and deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in Jacqueline´s favour. The jury considered Dr Zager to be 38.5 percent negligent for Jacqueline´s brain injuries and the Abington Surgical Centre 61.5 percent negligent. They awarded her $5.1 million compensation.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Judge Adjourns Claim for Failing to Act on Test Results

A High Court judge has adjourned a compensation claim for failing to act on test results after approving an interim settlement of compensation for an eight-year-old girl suffering from cerebral palsy.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told how Isabelle Sheehan was delivered by emergency Caesarean Section at the Bon Secours Maternity Hospital in Cork in November 2004, after the results from an earlier blood test on her mother – Catherine – had shown a significant increase in the presence of antibodies which had the potential to react with those of Isabelle´s father, Colm.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross also heard that, had Catherine Sheehan´s paediatric consultant – Dr David Corr – referred Catherine to a specialist at the time the results were known, Isabelle could have been born earlier and the spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy she suffered at the time of her delivery could have been avoided.

Through her mother, Isabelle made a compensation claim for failing to act on test results against Dr Corr – who admitted that he had “made a mistake” and accepted liability for Isabelle´s injuries – and, at a hearing in October 2011, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill approved an initial €1.9 million settlement of compensation and adjourned the case for two years to allow for the introduction of a structured compensation payment system.

As two years had passed, and no system for structured compensation payments has yet been introduced, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved a further interim payment of €635,000 to provide Isabelle she will need for the forthcoming two years and adjourned her compensation claim for failing to act on test results once again.

The judge heard that, with assistance, Isabelle was keeping up with her classmates at her mainstream national school and that she was bright and intelligent. Mr Justice Kevin Cross closed the hearing by wishing Isabelle all the best for the future.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Woman to Receive Compensation for Prescription of Wrong Drug after Case goes to Appeal Court

A woman in Australia is to receive compensation for the prescription of the wrong drug against a doctor contracted by her employer after the case was heard in the Court of Appeal.

Michelle Strickland from Macquarie Fields in Sydney brought her compensation claim for the prescription of the wrong drug after the fifty-three year old process line worker had passed out in November 2010 at Chep Australia’s Wetherill Park factory.

Michelle was taken to hospital, where a CT scan revealed that an aneurysm in her brain had ruptured and she had suffered a near-fatal neurological injury. Michelle underwent two major brain operations over the course of the next twelve months, but now suffers from facial paralysis and memory loss, and has difficulty holding a conversation with her two grandchildren.

Following a routine visit to her GP, a connection was found between the ruptured aneurysm and anti-inflammatory medication she had been prescribed by her employer´s contracted doctor to treat a repetitive strain injury she had developed while working on the factory process line.

Michelle made a claim for compensation for the prescription of the wrong drug against her employer, claiming that she had complained to the company´s doctor about headaches which occurred whenever she took the medication, but the doctor had advised her to rest until headaches passed and then to start working again.

Chep Australia denied Michelle´s claim, arguing that there was no link between Michelle´s neurological injury and her role in the factory, and that her ruptured aneurysm was probably caused by Michelle´s high blood pressure and smoking habit.

After an initial hearing at the New South Wales Workers Compensation Commission, Michelle was awarded a weekly compensation amount and her medical expenses paid; however Michelle´s employers contested the decision and took the case to the Court of Appeal in Sydney.

At the Court of Appeal in Sydney, judges found in Michelle´s favour and upheld the original decision to award compensation for the prescription of the wrong drug.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Most Compensation Claims for Primary Care Negligence are for Missed Diagnoses finds Report

A report prepared by the Centre for Primary Care Research in Dublin on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has found that most compensation claims for primary care negligence are for missed or delayed diagnoses.

The “The Epidemiology of Malpractice Claims in Primary Care: A Systematic Review” – published recently in the British Medical Journal – was compiled by a team lead by Dr Emma Wallace with the objective of identifying where the focus should be targeted in future risk management systems and educational strategies for primary healthcare workers.

The report found that the most common reason for compensation claims for primary care negligence were claims against GPs and front-line doctors in hospitals for the missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer – specifically colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and cancer of the female genital tract – medication errors (administration errors and prescription errors) and, in medical negligence compensation claims for children, the failure to correctly diagnose appendicitis and meningitis.

Dr Wallace – who is herself a GP – acknowledged that compensation claims for primary care negligence were not the ideal tools against which to measure adverse events in primary care environments, but commented that when medical negligence claims are made against GPs and front-line doctors, the medical practitioners against whom the claims are made often experienced increased stress levels – reducing their effectiveness, and placing more patients at risk of a misdiagnosis or medication error.

The report also highlighted that GPs are more commonly practicing defensively because of the risk of litigation if they make a mistake and consequently referring a higher proportion of patients to consultants rather than make a diagnosis themselves. This unwillingness to make – and act on – the diagnosis of a cancer can lead to patients´ conditions deteriorating unnecessarily and ultimately put more pressure on an under-resourced Irish health service.

Dr Wallace hoped that her team´s “review”  provides an insight into the nature of adverse events in GPs surgeries and hospital outpatients departments and the reasons for them happening, which would reduce the number of compensation claims for primary care negligence in Ireland and have the knock-on effect of improving the standard of primary care provided.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Hip Replacement Compensation for DePuy ASR Awarded

The first hip replacement compensation for DePuy ASR to be heard in court has seen an award of $8.3 million being made.

The claim made by a former prison officer, Loren Kransky (65) from South Dakota, was brought forward ahead of the Multi District Litigation (MDL) due to be heard in Ohio in May, as he is terminally ill from diabetes, heart disease and cancer of the kidney.

Mr Kransky’s legal team at the Los Angeles Superior Court claimed that he had to undergo a second hip replacement procedure – causing him pain and suffering – due to dangerously high levels of chromium and cobalt in his bloodstream caused by metal-on-metal friction within his ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement device.

The solicitors claimed that Johnson and Johnson – the parent company of DePuy Orthopaedics – promoted the faulty hip replacement products knowing that the ASR systems were defective, in effect accusing them of fraud in addition to negligence which would have allowed Kransky to qualify for major punitive damages.

The company, Johnson and Johnson, disputed that they knew the ASR hip replacements were faulty in 2007 – the year in which Kransky underwent his initial hip replacement operation – and contested Kransky’s claim for DePuy ASR hip replacement compensation on the grounds that Kransky’s pain and suffering was due to his pre-existing medical conditions.

At the Los Angeles Superior Court, the jury found that Johnson and Johnson had not acted “with malice” by marketing their product in 2007, but agreed that the product was defective and awarded Kransky $8 million in settlement of his DePuy ASR hip replacement claim, with a further $338,000 to account for the medical expenses he has incurred to date.

It was revealed immediately after the decision that Johnson and Johnson will to appeal the decision, as the precedent of $8 million in compensation for pain and suffering could be greatly inflated when claims for claimants who do not have a terminal illness are heard in the MDL action for hip replacement compensation for DePuy ASR in Ohio in May.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

Failed Sterilisation Compensation Awarded by High Court

The High Court has awarded a mother €100,000 for failed sterilisation compensation after the son she was never supposed to have died after only six months of life.

Karen Hurley-Ahern (41) from County Limerick, underwent the sterilisation operation in February 2001 after finding from her GP that she had an unusual blood-clotting disorder that would pose a risk to herif ever she were to fall pregnant again.

The operation was carried by gynaecologist Dr Victor Moore at the Tralee General Hospital, but in April 2002 Karen became pregnant once more and, after a difficult pregnancy, gave birth to baby Samuel on 10th October 2002 – six weeks prematurely and by emergency Caesarean section.

Samuel experienced severe abnormalities which were unrelated to Kare’s sterilisation operation, and stayed in hospital for six months – kept alive by a series of life-support machines. In April 2003, Samuel experienced a severe heart attack and Karen and her partner – Garrett Ahern – made the difficult decision to turn off the life-support machines.

After seeking legal guidance, Karen and Garrett began a claim for failed sterilisation compensation against Dr Moore and the Southern Health Board (now the Health Service Executive), for the pain and trauma the couple had been through due to the unsuccessful sterilisation procedure.

Dr Moore and the HSE did not accept liability – alleging that the operation had been performed correctly and the couple had been advised that there was a chance of failure. However, in the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Sean Ryan ruled in favour of the now-separated claimants – recognising that Samuel’s disability was not as a result of the failed sterilisation procedure, but stating that Karen had suffered to a major extent due to the defendant´s negligence.

Awarding Karen €100,000 in failed sterilisation compensation, Mr Justice Sean Ryan stated that the award was in respect of the worry she had suffered when she found she was pregnant, the pain of childbirth, the distress of Samuel’s illness and distress after his death. However, no compensation award was made to Garrett as – according to Mt Justice Sean Ryan – while he had undoubtedly endured emotional trauma, there was no evidence Garrett had sustained a defined psychiatric injury.

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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

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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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

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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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

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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If you have suffered a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to doctor malpractice in a hospital, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, unlike most other personal injury claims in Ireland, a compensation claim for doctor malpractice in a hospital has to show that your injuries were attributable to a poor professional performance when “in the circumstances and at the time” a different course of action would have prevented them. As claims for compensation due to doctor malpractice in a hospital are not assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is advisable to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a hospital negligence solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

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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