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Case Wins

A few of our case wins can be found below:


Birth injuries / Children claims / Cerebral Palsy cases

 

Errors during birth led to damages of £6.5m

Child H was left with significant brain damage as a result of the substandard care that she received during her birth at Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. Child H was born in the 'breech position' and after an extensive legal battle the Trust, which has the legal responsibility for the hospital, admitted that the hospital failed to provide child H and her mother a reasonable standard of care which caused child H to suffer from significant and lifelong brain damage. She suffered a severe lack of oxygen during birth and now struggles with normal day to day activities as she is now unable to walk unaided, talk or feed herself and will require 24 hours care and assistance for the rest of her life. This case was set to go to Trial in London but negotiations between the legal representatives resulted in an award for child H representing annual payments ranging from £105,000 - £160,000 in addition to a lump sum of over £2million. This settlement, known as a structured settlement, equates to a lump sum of £6.5 million.

 

Errors during birth led to damages of £6.2 million

Child B's mother was booked to have her delivery at Tiverton Hospital. However, after a lengthy legal battle the Trust, which has responsibility for the hospital, admitted that she should never have been booked into that hospital. The reason being that there were potential complications which had been identified before the birth and, as a result of which, the mother should have been transferred to the specialist maternity unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. In addition to this, the delivery itself was mismanaged when an attempt was made to deliver Child B using forceps in a normal side room whereas it should have been undertaken in an operating theatre with a paediatrician available. In the end, an emergency Caesarean section had to be performed and, as a result, Child B suffered severe lack of oxygen, leaving him with significant and lifelong brain damage which he otherwise would not have suffered. Child B has considerable disabilities leaving him unable to walk, talk or feed himself and requiring life-long 24 hour care and assistance.

Shortly after the birth an independent inquiry was set up to investigate the maternity services at Tiverton hospital and, almost immediately, the maternity service there was suspended. The inquiry found that the hospital should not be undertaking the types of delivery that it had been carrying out and only low risk births would be undertaken there in the future.

A trial was set to take place but last minute negotiations resulted in a settlement of £135,000 per annum for Child B's life, together with an additional lump sum of £2.4 million. This settlement, known as a structured settlement, equates to a lump sum of £6.2 million.

 

Award for £5.7 million for cerebral palsy claim at Yeovil Hospital

M was born at Yeovil Hospital and suffers from cerebral palsy. It was Tozers' case that M suffered cerebral palsy solely as a result of the hospital's negligence in mismanaging her delivery. M suffered catastrophic brain damage leaving her with serious physical problems that will eventually leave her wheelchair bound though intellectually she has not been affected. There were two aspects to the negligence in this case. The first related to the obstetric and midwifery care before M was born and Tozers alleged that the doctors and midwives at Yeovil failed to respond appropriately to abnormalities in the baby's heart trace which they should have seen and that a caesarean section should have been performed at least 3 hours before M was eventually delivered. If this had happened then M would have avoided all damage. In addition to that negligence, once M was born, the attending doctors failed to properly resuscitate her - if they had done so, even at that late stage, M would have avoided all injury.

The claim settled just before the trial was due to begin and, although the hospital did not admit negligence, the claim settled for £5.7 million which was the full valuation.

 

Award of £4.9m for boy with cerebral palsy

Child D, now aged 8 has been left with severe cerebral palsy following negligent mismanagement of his birth at the Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny. Child D was born prematurely at 36 weeks, and suffered from a severe lack of oxygen during his birth. He is now left with significant and lifelong brain damage. Following a long and complicated legal case an award of £4.9 million was secured. This child requires assistance with all aspects of daily living as he is unable to walk unaided, talk or feed himself and will require life-long 24 hour care and assistance for the rest of his life. The figure represents payments ranging from £55,000 - £160,000 over the course of Child D's life together with a lump sum of over £2 million, totalling £4.9 million.

 

Award of £4.68m for young man with cerebral palsy

A twenty-four year old man was awarded £4.68 million as compensation for the injuries he suffered as a result of his birth at the Wordsley Hospital, Stourbridge. The man suffers from cerebral palsy which affects his ability to undertake activities of daily living independently. He is dependent on others for aspects of his daily care such as washing, dressing and feeding.

 

Award of £4.1 million for young woman with cerebral palsy

A 29 year old woman, left with severe cerebral palsy following mismanagement of a cardiac arrest at the Bristol Royal Infirmary when she was just 10 months old, has been awarded £4.1 million. Ms G, who moved to the US with her family when she was 2 years old, was born with a heart defect which required surgery. Two months after the operation, whilst at the BRI, she had a cardiac arrest but it took the attending personnel 22 minutes to resuscitate her. As a result her brain was starved of oxygen and she sustained catastrophic brain damage, leaving her blind, unable to move or speak, epileptic, totally dependent on others for all her needs and a much reduced life expectancy. Ms G's family had always provided their daughter with the highest quality of care and this settlement will go towards ensuring the rest of her life is as comfortable as possible.

 

£3.2 million compensation secured for boy who acquired brain damage whilst in hospital

A 13 year old boy, left facing a lifetime of disability after what Tozers claim was negligence by hospital staff during the first year of life, will receive compensation from Torbay Hospital. T was born at Torbay Hospital without any apparent complications. However, over the subsequent months T suffered from diarrhoea, jaundice and had trouble taking in nourishment. T was admitted to Torbay Hospital where he received treatment but, following management which Tozers claimed was negligent, he developed septicaemia leading to life threatening seizures and cerebral palsy which will affect him for life. The case was very complex and unusual as T suffered his injury almost a year after his birth and not at the time of the birth itself, which is the more usual situation in successful legal claims for cerebral palsy. T received a settlement of £3.2 million.


Birth injuries / Children claims / Erb's Palsy cases

 

Highest ever damages of £1, 062,500 (reduced to £850,000 to account for litigation risk) for child birth injury (Erb's Palsy).

A 13 year old boy, who was born at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, was left with an Erb's Palsy injury (severe damage to his arm, hand and shoulder resulting in loss of function) due to the mismanagement of his birth at the hospital in Exeter. Tozers secured the highest ever payment of damages for a child with Erb's Palsy with an award of £850,000 being made to this boy, referred to as Child T.

Born on 2 March 1998, Child T sustained serious damage to his arm, shoulder and hand at birth (Erb's Palsy). He has undergone two major operations to try to correct the injury but suffers on-going pain and is still unable to do most two-handed activities. At best his left arm is used as a support and it is likely that he will get arthritis in this arm as well. The pain experienced has led to Child T missing out on time at school because of the many inpatient admissions. A significant proportion of the damages award is to go towards ongoing treatment.

Partner Tony Mills, secured this case victory for Child T and we believe that Tony has achieved the highest award for this type of injury ever seen in this country.

 

£850,000 damages for Erb's Palsy Injury

Tozers secured £850,000 for a 18-year-old man for the brachial plexus injury he suffered during his delivery at Salisbury District Hospital. The Claimant (Mr H) was born in June 1994 was left with an Erb's Palsy injury (severe damage to his arm, hand and shoulder resulting in loss of function) due to the mismanagement of his birth at the hospital in Salisbury. Despite numerous operations Mr H recovered virtually no useful function of his left arm and was left with a grossly deformed upper limb and with marked narrowing of the width of his shoulder on the left as compared to the right. Mr H also suffered from a period of severe neuropathic pain which was thought to be as a result of a musculo-skeletal irritation of the brachial plexus which hampered his education.

Although it was agreed that Mr H was a very intelligent young man – it was agreed that he had the academic ability to study medicine – there was disagreement between the parties over whether Mr H would recover from his present educational difficulties and suffer significant future loss of earnings. The Claimant's case was that Mr H's education had been blighted and that he would suffer loss of earnings as a result with the Defendant's position being that Mr H would recover from his present difficulties, go on to succeed at university and at worst suffer from a delay in achieving what he otherwise would have done.

A negotiated settlement was reached with the Defendant shortly before trial in what is thought to be the second highest settlement for a case of this type.

 

Damages of £769,230 secured for young man with Erb's Palsy injury (reduced to £500,000 to account for litigation risk).

Tozers senior Partner, Tony Mills, secured £500,000 for this 23 year old man was born at Solihull Hospital in 1989. Due to the mismanagement of his delivery, he suffered a brachial plexus injury at birth. Mr P suffered from ongoing problems with his arm and shoulder, having some 14 operations performed. Mr P was diagnosed with a severe injury which essentially left him one handed.

Mr P also suffered from ongoing neuropathic pain and psychological trauma. He missed a substantial amount of his schooling and found it extremely hard to adjust to new social situations. As part of the litigation, Tozers managed to ensure that Mr T engaged on a pain management programme and secured some much needed cognitive behavioural therapy. A significant proportion of the damages award is to go towards ongoing treatment.

 

£575,000 settlement for Barnet girl left with a disabled arm as a result of the management of her birth

16 year old Child J was born at the Chase Farm Hospital in London. During the delivery her shoulders became stuck - an obstetric emergency known as shoulder dystocia. It was alleged by her solicitors, Tozers LLP of Exeter, that the staff at the hospital did not employ the standard recommended manoeuvres to overcome this problem and as a result of negligence, Child J sustained Erb's Palsy, where the nerves supplying one shoulder, arm and hand become damaged from pulling on the head, leading to a permanent disability.

Child J has undergone multiple operations over the years in an attempt to improve function but she has been left with restricted use of her arm, shoulder and hand meaning that normal every day activities are more difficult and in some instances, virtually impossible.

The case was complicated by the unusual severity of Child J's injury, the possibility of related back problems and other consequences, including scarring as a result of the numerous operations. An agreement was reached on a monetary settlement of £575,000, which was at the time the highest ever award for this type of injury.

 

£550,000 awarded to teenage girl suffering from Erb's Palsy

A 17 year old girl sustained damage to her arm during her birth at Northwick Park Hospital leaving her with a severe Erb's Palsy Injury to her left arm. Despite having three operations in her left arm, Ms H was left with substantial deficit in function in her left arm and was unable to cope with many aspects of day to day activities, her left arm is some 15 cms shorter than her right. Ms H's education was disrupted due to the sheer volume of hospital appointments that she attended and she developed a negative reaction to her schooling. On top of this Ms H found it difficult to spend time away from her mother. Child H was a determined young woman who had managed to secure employment on an apprenticeship scheme for childcare however the claim was advanced on the basis that she would suffer a disadvantage on the labour market in this or any subsequent career due to her disability. The Claimant received a "lump sum" award of £150,000 for this head of loss which is the highest amount that has been awarded on a "lump sum" basis by the Defendant Trust.

 

Damages of £550,000 following Injury to arm at birth

A 23 year old girl born at Luton Hospital, left with a severe Erb's Palsy injury to her left arm, received compensation of £550,000. Ms W has had three operations and will require surgery throughout her life. She is unable to do most two-handed activities we take for granted and has been unable to secure long term remunerative employment. She has suffered from depression and is reliant on pain relief on a daily basis. A proportion of her damages was to reflect that she is significantly handicapped on the job market.

 

Damages of £485,000 following injury to arm at birth

A 12 year old Southampton boy, left with an Erb's Palsy injury so severe as to make him effectively one-armed, received compensation of £485,000, one of the highest awards for an injury of this type at the time of the settlement. Child H has had 8 operations but remains unable to do most two-handed activities we take for granted. A high proportion of his damages was for the fact that he will not be able to follow his father's footsteps and work in the building trade.

 

£400,000 awarded for case discontinued by previous Solicitors

A teenage girl suffered an Erb's Palsy injury to her non-dominant arm during her birth at Gloucester Royal Infirmary. She initially approached Solicitors who, after conducting initial investigations with a specialist barrister and medical expert decided not to pursue the case. Tozers were approached who selected new experts and an experienced Barrister and the claim was pursued. Child F underwent three operations but has been left with permanent damage to the right arm. She is unable to use both arms effectively and will require assistance for the remainder of her life. Liability was not admitted by the Defendant but a settlement of £400,000 achieved.

 

Errors during birth lead to a girl winning £375,000 in compensation

An 18-year-old girl was awarded £375,000 in respect of injuries sustained at the time of her birth at Northwick Park Hospital. She suffered a severe injury to her left arm, caused by negligent application of excessive and inappropriate force on the head at the time when her shoulders became obstructed. Despite undergoing four surgical procedures she has been left with reduced function in her shoulder, elbow and wrist, severe scarring as a result of the procedures and also suffered with Sleep Terror Disorder and psychological damage as a consequence of her injury.

 

£375,000 awarded to Plymouth girl.

Tony Mills acted for a Plymouth girl securing £375,000 for the Erb's Palsy Injury that she sustained during her delivery in 1999. She has had 2 operations and frequent physiotherapy. It is anticipated that she will undergo one further operation in the future to improve the function of her injured arm. Despite the possibility of the further surgery and the regular physiotherapy input, she will still have permanent damage to the arm and will require assistance, particularly in respect of domestic activities, aids and equipment and possible childcare for the remainder of her life. A large proportion of these damages was awarded for future treatment and care that will be required.

 

Damages of £365,000 (full value £521,428) for Birmingham man

Mr S, a 22 year old Birmingham man, has been left with one of the worst outcomes for an Erb's palsy according to an expert. Liability for the injury was contested vigorously by Mr S's opponent. A settlement of 70% liability was agreed in Mr S's favour taking into consideration the risk that he might not establish that his opponent was at fault, if he took his claim to trial. Later, an award of £365,000 was agreed shortly before Mr S's case for compensation was due to be determined at a formal trial. On a full valuation (100% liability) the award represents £521,428.

 

£200,000 secured for potential posterior injury – a particularly difficult claim to run in respect of Erbs Palsy injuries.

Tozers acted for this young boy, Master S, aged 14 years at the time the claim successfully concluded. During his birth, S's shoulder became stuck after delivery of his head; It was our case that it was the anterior shoulder (the one pointing upwards during the delivery) which became stuck behind the mother's pubic bone. This is a recognised obstetric problem, which should be overcome by a standard series of manoeuvres which in most cases results in delivery without any injury. However, if these manoeuvres are not performed and the head is simply ( and negligently) pulled to try to free the shoulders, this can lead to Erb's palsy where the nerves are stretched or torn as the head is pulled with the shoulder still stuck behind the pubic bone. Tozers specialise in Erb's palsy claims but a difficulty with this case was that the medical records could be interpreted as showing that the injured shoulder was the posterior one - the one pointing downwards at birth - and which could not therefore be stuck behind the pubic bone. If that is the situation then it is said by hospitals that the injury cannot arise from negligent pulling on the head as the damaged shoulder is not stuck by the pubic bone and so the Erbs palsy must have happened in some unexplained way but in any event not as a result of negligence.

Tozers was particularly pleased to secure an excellent award of damages in this case as it is Tozers experience that other firms may believe these "posterior" cases cannot be won.

A further difficulty with Master S's case was that he and his family had emigrated so Tozers had to arrange for them all to visit the UK to meet with the relevant medical experts and our specialist Barrister. Despite these hurdles, we secured compensation of £200,000 for the injuries sustained.

 

Successful claim for woman who suffered shoulder dystocia and endured a further 8 corrective surgical procedures

The claimant suffered a severe and permanent right-sided brachial plexus injury as a result of negligent mismanagement of shoulder dystocia at the time of her birth. The claimant underwent eight surgical procedures to repair the brachial plexus and breast augmentation for asymmetry. However she was left with no useful function in her shoulder and elbow, and a hand, which is of little use, experiencing difficulties in all areas of daily life in particular the care of her 2 year old son.

It was alleged that the delivering midwife acting alone, failed to employ the recommended manoeuvres in 1989 to release the obstructed shoulder and instead applied excessive traction to the head.

Liability was disputed on the basis that the manoeuvres employed were acceptable practice and appropriate for 1989 and that the injured shoulder was lying posteriorally and damage was caused as a result of natural uterine expulsive forces rather than due to any mismanagement during delivery.

A settlement was reached with the defendant 3 weeks before trial for the sum of £360,393 representing 70% of £514,000 plus CRU.

 

A teenage girl secures £350,000 as a result of permanent injury caused to the brachial plexus at birth

Although C was predicted to be a large baby this had not led to any precautions being taken for shoulder dystocia, an obstetric emergency more common in larger babies when one shoulder becomes lodged behind the mother's pubic bone. When this occurred, the midwives present did not follow the standard procedures but instead pulled on the fetal head, causing Erb's palsy.

C underwent six operative procedures during her childhood but was left with extremely limited use of her left arm. She suffers cosmetic deformity, which causes her embarrassment, and movement is very limited so she struggles with everyday activities such as brushing/washing her hair, fastening buttons or zips, using cutlery or opening a package.

  

Successful Erb's Palsy claim including agreed damages for cosmetic glove

K, who was born at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, was left with a severe disability in his right arm as result of the mismanagement of his birth. K, aged 13 at the time of settlement, had undergone 8 operations but, despite the best efforts of the surgeons, his right arm remains of no use to him. The operations have left K with many unsightly scars which will not be assisted by plastic surgery. He expressed a loathing for his arm and amputation was even considered. However, K has decided against this drastic measure and is looking into a custom-made cosmetic glove to disguise the appearance of his arm.

An agreement was reached on a lump sum monetary settlement for K and the promise to pay for the cosmetic glove up to a maximum figure.

 


Missed cancer / Delay in diagnosis

 

£250,000 lump sum for a missed cancer leading to death of wife and mother of four

A young family has been awarded a substantial sum by an NHS Trust after they lost a wife and mother to cervical cancer in 2007. Mrs H had what she was told was a negative cervical smear in 2000. This was followed up by a further negative smear in 2003. However, tragically Mrs H died of cervical cancer in 2007 leaving behind a husband and 4 young children. Tozers successfully argued that Mrs H should have been referred following her initial 2000 smear test as it showed dyskaryotic (abnormal) cells. If this had been done, Mrs M would have been treated for the cancer and on the balance of probabilities would have survived.

Although upsetting circumstances, this was an exceptional result: the case was very finely balanced due to its inherent complexity and sensitive nature. Most importantly, the compensation has gone a little way in helping the family to move on with their lives.

 

Delay in diagnosing lower spine injury

This complex claim arose from late diagnosis and surgical treatment of Cauda Equina in a woman 23 days after she had given birth. Cauda Equina is an injury to the nerves in the lower spine. It was agreed that there was a 50% chance the injuries, which included double incontinence, and loss of earnings could have been avoided. An award of £240,000 was achieved.

 

Delay in diagnosis of bladder cancer

A lady in South Devon has been awarded £140,000 by an NHS Trust for the delay in diagnosis and treatment of her late husband's bladder cancer. This complex claim arose from the treatment the Claimant (Mr A) received for the management of a bladder diverticulum (a sac or pouch that occurs in the bladder wall when the bladder is under pressure. As a result of on going problems arising from the bladder diverticulum, it was argued that the diverticulum should have been removed in 2007. Surgery however was not carried out until 2008 by which time cancer had developed in the diverticulum, thought in part to be as a result of the ineradicable urinary tract infections which were a consequence of his condition. Mr A unfortunately died of his cancer in 2010 following which the claim was continued his wife.

Although liability for Mr A's injuries was never admitted by the defendant NHS Trust a negotiated settlement was reached with the trusts solicitors shortly before trial.

 

Delayed diagnosis of breast cancer

Mrs X would only have required wide local excision and axillary clearance if her breast cancer had been diagnosed and treated in time. Instead, as a result of a delay in diagnosis and treatment she required a double mastectomy. £110,000 was awarded in damages.

 

£81,500 awarded to Devon lady for failing to diagnose goblet cell carcinoid of the appendix

A lady in Devon was compensated for the delay in diagnosing her cancer, had the cancer been diagnosed two and a half years early it is highly likely that Mrs X could have underwent surgery and radiotherapy which would have left her symptom-free with an unaffected life expectancy. However due to the delay in diagnosis, only palliative chemotherapy could be offered. Mrs X's life expectancy was drastically reduced. The claim was conducted in a swift yet thorough manner to ensure that Mrs X would have time to benefit from the award in these distressing circumstances.

 

Tozers secure £57,500 for an elderly lady who suffered a delay in diagnosis of elbow injury

Mrs M, who was 89 at date of settlement, was awarded £57,500 damages following a two and a half month delay of a fracture to her left, non-dominant, elbow. Mrs M was left with a disabling injury and Tozers advanced the argument that had it been identified during her initial visit to the defendant trust then the fracture would not have lost position and she would have made a recovery within 24 weeks. Instead Mrs M is severely limited in her day to day activities and is not able to participate in many activities that she had done prior to the injury occurring. An award of £57,500 was secured. Tozers ensured that the amount was negotiated professionally and promptly to enable Mrs M to secure the care that she needed.

 

Delay in diagnosis of Lung Cancer

A lady in Devon has been awarded £30,000 by an NHS Trust for the delay in diagnosis of her lung cancer. Had the cancer been diagnosed earlier it is highly likely that she could have undergone surgery to remove the tumour. Instead, the delay in diagnosis meant that surgery was not an option and only palliative care could be offered. Her life expectancy has been reduced drastically as a result.

Tozers ensured through negotiation that this lady was both adequately compensated and received the award in a timely manner to enable her to enjoy it in these upsetting circumstances.

 


Negligent Cardiac treatment

 

Substandard cardiac surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary leads to damages of over £3.85 million

A 19 year old man (B) was awarded a compensation settlement totalling more than £3.85 million after negligent heart surgery left him with severe brain damage, epilepsy, severe behavioural problems and autistic traits; he also has a significantly reduced life expectancy.

B underwent surgery to correct a heart defect at Bristol Royal Infirmary in 1992. As part of his case it was argued on B's behalf that he was denied the better operation for his condition because Bristol had such poor results for it. When the less optimum operation was eventually carried out, it was done incompetently and exposed B to brain damage. However, whilst Bristol conceded that surgery was done in a substandard manner, it argued that the resulting damage was not the type it would have expected to see as a result of the negligence.

B's financial settlement comprises a lump sum of £1m and annual payments for the rest of his life.

 

£1.7 million settlement and annual payment of £130,000 for BRI heart scandal claimant.

G achieved a lump sum damages settlement of £1.7 million and annual periodical payments of £130,000 for the remainder of his life following the brain damage suffered as a result of negligent treatment of a congenital heart condition at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. As a result of the negligence alleged, G was left with injuries including spastic quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, severe cognitive deficit, and limited communication. Child G is unable to feed himself without assistance; is wheelchair dependent, completely incontinent and will require significant levels of care for the rest of his life.

G's claim was complicated by the fact he suffered from a pre-existing congenital condition, which it is accepted would have left him with mild to moderate learning disabilities and the need for some on-going future care. This was taken into consideration in the settlement agreed.

 

Negligent Cardiac treatment at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust results in £120,000 damages for Claimant

D received damages of £120,000 from the Defendant, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, for physical damage to her heart and a worse cardiac prognosis because of the delay in referring her for assessment, diagnosis and surgery for her congenital heart condition. Tozers Clinical Negligence team were able to maximise the damages for the claimant and negotiate that the recoverable benefits were not due as they related to a separate brain injury unrelated to the negligence.

 

£32,500 awarded to man left without pacemaker for 3 years

Aged 64, J had an artificial aortic valve due to aortic regurgitation, he also had a dilated left ventricle, left bundle branch block and atrial fibrillation. J had a biventricular pacemaker implanted to regulate his heart rhythm. He had managed to control his heart condition for a number of years.

Following a procedure at Yeovil District Hospital for a routine pacemaker generator change, J developed a significant infection. The infection could not be contained and J had to be admitted to hospital for extensive treatment, including removal of the pacemaker. J spent almost 4 weeks in hospital and 3 years without the pacemaker, during which time his quality of life suffered.

After allegations of negligence were put to the hospital by Tozers, the hospital admitted that they had negligently discharged J without the appropriate antibiotics.

Clair Hemming acted on J's behalf and entered into negotiations with the hospital and J received £32,500 in compensation.

 

Clinical negligence claim against the MOD

The claim related to the failure by RAF doctors to diagnose coronary artery disease in a 52 year old RAF Non-Commissioned Officer. Tozers were instructed by the Claimant's widow after he suffered a heart attack and sadly died whilst on expedition. The officer consulted MOD doctors on 9 separate occasions over a 9 month period in relation to chest tightness, palpitations and high blood pressure. An ECG was performed but the abnormal results were not acted upon. Despite these factors the Officer's duties were not restricted and he was authorised to go on several high altitude expeditions. When first formally notified of the claim by Tozers, the MOD denied negligence, but after a lengthy battle, an admission of liability was eventually made. Negotiations between the MOD and Tozers ensued and the MOD agreed to pay substantial damages and costs to the Officer's widow in an out of court settlement.

 

Pacemaker needed following mistakes during heart surgery

During heart surgery the surgeon cut through the tissues responsible for pacing the heart with the result that the patient now needs to have a pacemaker for the rest of her life. £60,000 was received in an out of court settlement.


Surgical mistakes

 

Compensation secured for Devon client following poorly-performed bowel surgery

At age 73 Mr B underwent bowel surgery to remove a tumour. Although told that the procedure had been successful, after only four days he developed symptoms including vomiting but was nonetheless discharged home. When his post-operative condition continued to deteriorate he returned to hospital where it was found that the operation area had leaked, creating infection. Despite antibiotics the infection went on to cause a fistula (a hole in the bowel wall) and it was necessary to undertake a colostomy with stoma bag. This in turn led to a hernia in the area and the stress of the injuries and treatment also resulted in emotional and psychological trauma.

Although the colostomy was reversed after 27 months with the stoma being removed, Mr B has been left with continuing bowel symptoms which daily affect his diet. Liability was admitted by the hospital concerned and damages of over £50,000 negotiated between the solicitors for both sides.

 

Six figure sum awarded for surgical mistakes during birth of child

Ms A underwent an emergency caesarean section during the birth of her child. However the incision was made in the incorrect place and caused severe internal injuries to the mother. Subsequent problems went unnoticed leading to significant damage to her internal organs. The mother underwent 5 operations to repair the damage, spending a great deal of time in hospital and confined to bed at home. Ms A also suffered severe psychological damage.

 

Missed hip injury led to successful claim against four different defendants

A young girl tripped over a raised paving slab injuring her hip. Over the next three months her local hospital and two separate GPs all told her there was nothing to worry about although one leg had started to rotate outwards. X-rays eventually revealed a slipped upper femoral epiphysis, where the growing bones at the top of the leg become displaced. Although the four defendants (the local council, the hospital and both general practitioners) all denied negligence throughout, Tozers negotiated with three of them a settlement of £75,000 for what will be a life-long disability

 

£42,000 compensation for patient who became conscious during an operation

Mrs Z, a housewife, had been anaesthetised prior to her gall bladder operation but woke up before the operation had been completed and could feel a sharp pain in her stomach. She was not able to move or speak to alert anyone due to a muscle relaxant she had been given 20 minutes before the end of surgery. The defendants alleged only momentary consciousness. As a result of this experience she became withdrawn, frightened of having to go to hospital, did not want to have any more children and suffered panic attacks. She also suffered intrusive memories and nightmares.


GP and Community Health claims

 

Tozers secure £7,000 in dispensing error

Mr M suffered from recurrent stomach ulcers and was on a repeat prescription. However, when obtaining his prescription, Mr M was dispensed the wrong medicine by his local pharmacy. Consequently, Mr M became increasingly unwell culminating in his being rushed to hospital where he spent a total of 11 nights, and required 9 units of intravenous blood.

Tozers successfully sued the local pharmacy on behalf of Mr M, and obtained £7,000 in full and final settlement to reflect Mr M's pain and suffering. This was overall an excellent result for all concerned, with Tozers' team concluding the matter within 9 months of being instructed whilst securing Mr M an extremely generous compensatory sum.

 

Settlement reached in negligent cataract surgery

Mrs Q underwent cataract surgery privately in February 2006. During the operation in the incorrect strength lens was negligently inserted. Following the operation the claimant suffered discomfort and blurred vision and remedial surgery was performed 4 weeks later. The claimant was awarded £4,500 in respect of the pain and suffering she endured during this period and the necessity for remedial surgery which was complicated and painful.

 

Substandard care by GP results in death of young mother

A settlement was reached by Tozers in a claim against a GP for negligently prescribing anti-depressants to a young mother, who died leaving 2 children aged 11 and 12 years. The deceased had demonstrated dose control difficulties in the past and it was alleged that the GP failed to adequately monitor and control the deceased use of anti-depressants. A claim was brought on behalf of the children and a settlement was reached.

 


Negligent care

 

Negligent post-operative care leads to £45,000 damages for a Devon man

Mr M had been fitted with a prosthetic knee some years ago but after surgery to replace this due to everyday wear and tear, he noted discharge from the wound site. Despite that he was allowed to return home but although the discharge continued for a fortnight the community nurses took no action. It was not until Mr M showed the knee to his GP that he was rushed back to hospital where emergency surgery revealed that an infection had destroyed much of the tissue around the new prosthesis. Despite lengthy medical input including 6 washout procedures, it was not possible to save the knee and Mr M now faces a lifetime of significantly impaired mobility. Tozers negotiated a compensation figure of £45,000.

 

85 year old lady compensated for negligence related pressure sores

A lady in Exeter has been awarded £27,500 by an NHS Trust for a grade 3 pressure sore she sustained to her heel following a total hip replacement carried out in 2009. The pressure sore took in excess of 28 months to heal and as a result of the injury the Claimant's (Mrs C) post operative recovery was hampered. Mrs C's immobility prevented her from having any post operative physiotherapy and left her confined to one room of her house for the duration of her recovery.

Following a detailed letter to the Defendant setting the allegations of negligence it was admitted by the Trust that there was a failure to implement preventative strategies post operation and that this led to Mrs C's injuries. A negotiated settlement was agreed with the Trust shortly after the formal admission of liability.

Since settlement Tozers have also established a Personal Injury Trust (also known as a Compensation Protection Trust) which will ensure that C maintains her eligibility for means tested benefits and that the compensation can be used to provide the help she now requires.

 

Substandard respite care at nursing home for sufferer of multiple sclerosis

A 61 year old multiple sclerosis sufferer who was wheelchair bound and cared for by her husband was admitted to a local nursing home for two weeks' respite care. It was alleged that the nursing home failed to carry out the required nursing assessment on admission which would have revealed that Mrs X was highly dependent and at a very high risk of developing pressure sores. Appropriate preventative measures were not taken and it was also alleged that inadequate care was provided following the discovery of a pressure sore resulting in deterioration. The sore had failed to heal and Mrs X spent a further 6 months in hospital. Proceedings were issued at court against the owners of the nursing home but a settlement was reached shortly thereafter for £5,000.


Negligent treatment

 

2-year old boy dies of internal obstruction

At birth, X was noted to have gastroschisis, where part of the bowel develops outside the body. This was immediately rectified via surgery.

Aged 2, he attended the A&E of his local hospital with vomiting but was sent home. When he returned 12 days later with similar symptoms the presentation was not initially taken seriously until X collapsed and an internal blockage was then diagnosed. Despite intensive intervention after a transfer to Bristol, X died 2 months later of complications of the obstruction.

The injuries which formed the subject of the claim included a period of vomiting faeces, surgical intervention following the transfer to Bristol; and approximately 8 weeks in ICU, during which he contracted an infection before dying of complications of the internal obstruction. Tozers successfully negotiated a settlement for the parents that included damages for the Psychiatric injuries they suffered as a result of the Defendant's negligence.


Negligent antibiotic administration

 

Hearing loss as a result of antibiotic overdose

The estate of the late Mrs A was awarded £4,000 in respect of damage to the claimant's hearing at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital in March 2008. Mrs A suffered a syncopal episode and was admitted to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for cardiac monitoring. During the course of her admission, she was given intravenous antibiotics including Gentamicin. Unfortunately, on 7th March 2008, Mrs A was erroneously given three times the daily dose of Gentamicin. Following this mistake, Mrs A noticed a significant deterioration in her hearing. The hospital admitted its mistake but denied that the hearing loss was caused through its medical staff's negligence. Following the issue of proceedings at Exeter County Court and after a drawn out battle the parties agreed that the defendant would pay £4,000 in compensation representing 50% of the full value of the claim.

 


 

Group B Streptococcus claims

 

Damages secured for parents of baby who died of GBS streptococcal infection

This sad case involved a baby who died of Group B Streptococcus ("GBS") only a few hours after his birth. Tozers specialise in claims arising from this infection, which is carried harmlessly by around a third of women but can in certain instances affect the newborn baby. In this case the hospital staff were aware that the mother was colonised with GBS but despite that knowledge, once the baby started to show obvious signs of being infected there was a 4-hour delay in administering vital antibiotics, by which time it had become too late to save his life. A settlement was agreed with the hospital less than a year after Tozers were first approached.

 

Damages secured for child Claimant for negligently acquired Group B streptococcus infection

The claimant's mother was identified as having a Group B Streptococcus infection from a urine sample during her pregnancy. Despite this, prophylactic antibiotics were not administered during labour and the claimant's subsequent birth.

The claimant was unwell and treated with antibiotics following her birth and was not discharged from hospital until 10 days later. The claimant was readmitted to hospital the following month with a fever and a diagnosis of possible sepsis. It was confirmed that the claimant had contracted Group B Streptococcus in blood cultures. A further admission and treatment was required but, fortunately, the claimant made a full recovery. Liability was admitted in full and the claimant received £5,000 in damages in reflection of her pain and suffering. The claimant's mother was awarded £947.50 in respect of expenses incurred.

 

Damages secured for parents of new-born infant who passed from negligently acquired Group B Streptococcus infection

Tozers represented the parents of an infant who died shortly after birth, having negligently acquired Group B Streptococcus during her delivery. The mother of the deceased baby, one of twins, was not provided with intravenous antibiotics during the delivery stage of labour despite the fact that ante-natal tests had revealed the mother was a carrier of the infection.

As well as securing damages for the parents Stuart Bramley, a Partner in Tozers' clinical negligence team, had earlier represented the family at the inquest.


Failed cosmetic surgery claims

 

Damages settlement achieved for claimant for failed breast reduction surgery

The claimant, a 41-year-old woman, received £17,000 after her breasts were left misshapen and scarred following a breast reduction operation in December 2005. She was embarrassed, her relationship was affected and she required further surgery. The claimant underwent a bilateral breast reduction at a hospital of the Defendant trust. Two weeks later the Claimant returned to the hospital to have the dressings changed and was told that the sutures had dissolved and that the wounds were gaping.

After the wounds had healed, the Claimant realised that her breasts were almost the same size as they had been before the operation and that they had a misshapen, boxy appearance with marked indentation down the sides. The vertical and horizontal scarring was wide and red, contrary to what she had previously been told. The Claimant sustained injury and brought an action against the Defendant alleging that it was negligent in both the performance of the surgery, by removing insufficient breast tissue or too much skin, or both, and in failing to alert the patient to the possibility of wide, prominent scarring.

Two years later, the Claimant underwent a further breast reduction at a different hospital and as a result had appropriately shaped breasts of the size she had initially wished for and with less obvious scarring.

 

 

Award for damages secured for failed augmentation breast surgery

Mrs Gale had a consultation at a Bristol clinic with a plastic surgeon specialising in breast surgery. A breast enlargement procedure using implants was carried out on 19 January 2007.

Following surgery Mrs Gale developed a severe infection in her right breast. Mrs Gale had a consultation with the surgeon but he failed to admit her for treatment of the infection, and removal of the implant. Instead he advised her to apply a kaolin poultice, an old fashioned treatment for minor sores and wounds. As a result Mrs Gale became so ill she required admission to Torbay Hospital for a week for intravenous antibiotic treatment. As a result of the infection tight scar tissue formed around the implant, a painful condition known as a capsular contracture. A capsulectomy to remove the scar tissue was performed and the implants were replaced. Mrs Gale however was very unhappy with the outcome which was far worse than that she had sought to remedy when first contacting the Bristol clinic.

Having sought a second opinion from a surgeon in Exeter Mrs Gale was advised that she would need two further operations to remedy the lopsided appearance of her breasts and correct the significant drooping that had occurred on the right side. Tozers clinical negligence team secured a five figure sum in compensation to Mrs Gale which should allow her to proceed with the corrective surgery she now requires.


 

Prison Clinical Negligence

 

Prisoner secures damages for shoulder injury sustained during hypoglycaemic episode

The Claimant was a serving prisoner at HMP Bedford who suffered a dislocated left collar bone having fallen from the top bunk of his cell whilst having a hypoglycaemic episode. The Claimant sustained injury and brought an action against the Defendant alleging that it was negligent as, despite having informed the healthcare team at HMP Bedford on arrival on 9 April 2010 that he was an insulin dependent diabetic with poor insulin control and that he suffered from hypoglycaemic episodes, he was allocated the top bunk in a two man cell. Having raised his concerns with prison staff and the healthcare team that he should be on the bottom bunk he was informed it was a matter for him and his cell mate to resolve. The Claimant's cell mate refused to relinquish the bottom bunk and on 21 April 2010 he fell from the top bunk approximately 6 feet to the floor during a hypoglycaemic episode and was injured.

Damages of £12,500 were agreed with the Ministry of Justice on the basis of an assumed 50:50% liability split. Whilst the Claimant would require surgery in the future it was indicated that his injury would fully resolve thereafter.

 

Delay in diagnosis of testicular cancer of prisoner

P was a serving prisoner at HMP Manchester. He presented to the prison healthcare team and reported a painless swelling to his left testicle that had been present for 2 to 3 months. The prison arranged an external referral to the urology department at North Manchester Hospital where P was examined and an ultrasound scan was carried out. Unfortunately, the results of the ultrasound were incorrectly interpreted and the opportunity to diagnose the tumour was missed. Instead P was treated for an infection.

P continued to present to HMP Manchester healthcare department complaining over severe swelling and pain to the testicle. Over a period of 8 months, a total of 11 appointments were arranged for P to be seen again at North Manchester Hospital. All 11 appointments were cancelled by the prison or the hospital. When P was transferred to HMP Highdown in error he immediately presented to the healthcare team and was transferred the same day to Hillingdon hospital. P underwent a radical left orchidectomy and a large malignant tumour of 90mm was removed. Chemotherapy treatment commenced and further surgery was required. A settlement of £10,000 was agreed with the NHS litigation Authority to reflect the 8 months of unnecessary pain and suffering P had endured as a result in the delay in diagnosis and treatment.

 

£7,500 awarded for exacerbation of psychological symptoms following hostage situation in prison

Tozers LLP have obtained compensation of £7,500 from the Ministry of Justice for Mr L, who was taken hostage whilst in prison. He awoke to find he had been secured to his bed by his cell mate, who then proceeded to threaten Mr L with an improvised weapon using a razor blade. Negotiations took place between Mr L's cell mate and the prison guards over several hours, during which time Mr L was continuously threatened with physical violence. Eventually, he was released by his cell mate.

It was argued that the prison staff were aware of the risks that Mr L's cell mate posed to Mr L but failed to act on those risks. Liability was admitted by the Ministry of Justice at an early stage. Mr L suffered an exacerbation of pre-existing psychological symptoms but reverted to his pre-event condition sometime after.

 

Damages for prisoner given overdose of incorrect medication by Prison Nurse

The claimant was a serving prisoner at HMP Bristol. On 4 December 2009 Mr Burt was provided his medication by a nurse employed by the Primary Care Trust at HMP Bristol. Shortly after taking the medication it was noted by prison healthcare staff that Mr Burt had incorrectly been provided another prisoner's medication.

60mls of Methadone had been incorrectly administered in the stead of its correct recipient whose surname was similar to the claimant's. Mr Burt became unwell immediately and required inpatient treatment at the hospital wing of the prison for 72 hours. He suffered from vomiting, hallucinations, headaches, diarrhoea and severe stomach pains. 40mls of methadone has been known to be fatal when incorrectly administered to individuals without a tolerance.

Damages of £1,250 were secured for the claimant. Quantum was calculated on the basis of awards made to victims of food poisoning which shared symptoms of a duration comparable to those the Claimant suffered.

 

 

 

 

 

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To contact our Medical Negligence Team please call the number below or email one of our team.

Call 0800 0132285

Email: Endurance Arthur | Stuart Bramley

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