Delayed Surgery

NHS Disputes Value of Medical Negligence Claim for Burst Appendix

Posted on: March 7th, 2016 by Medical Negligence

The National Health Service (NHS) is disputing the value of a claim made by a woman who was left infertile by a burst appendix that was not removed in a timely fashion.

The trouble began in 2008, when Sarah Marquis began experiencing severe pains in her abdomen. She visited her GP, and was then admitted to Homerton Hospital in East London, where she was put on painkillers for three days. The doctors failed to notice that her appendix needed to be removed, and eventually the procedure was undertaken. Medical staff commented that the appendix was “gangrenous and perforated”, and lead to a serious abdominal infection that caused Ms Marquis to be infertile.

Three-and-a-half years after the operation, Ms Marquis had not returned to her £65,000 per annum job at DLA Piper, a leading London law firm. After seeking legal counsel, Ms Marquis made a claim against the Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for their failure to remove her appendix. The Trust conceded liability for her injuries, though they contested her claim for £1.5 million in compensation, instead arguing that the true value of the claim was closer to £300,000.

The case proceeded to London’s High Court, where Judge Robert Owen QC heard evidence that Ms Marquis’ life was drastically altered by the delayed procedure an infection, including losing the opportunity to live and work in the United Staes of America, where she could have expected to earn more. Additionally, she will never be able to conceive her own biological child with her partner.

Bradley Martin, barrister for the NHS Trust, read an apology to Ms Marquis at the hearing that acknowledged that Homerton Hospital had been responsible for her injuries. However, he proceeded to question whether Ms Marquis would have both had children and worked in the USA, arguing that her desire for one would have overridden the other and she would not have done both.

The hearing is due to continue later this month.

High Court Hearing to Determine Outcome for Spinal Abscess Claim

Posted on: February 6th, 2016 by Medical Negligence

The claim for delayed treatment of spinal abscesses – which left a patient paralysed – is to be heard in the High Courts of London later this month.

The male patient – whose anonymity has been preserved for legal reasons – sought treatment for spinal abscesses in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, but the delay in treatment caused them to be paralysed from the waist down. This has meant they are reliant on a wheelchair and constant care from others.

The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust – who oversee the runnings of the hospital where the male patient received negligent treatment – conceded liability for the delayed treatment, though no consensus has been reached as to how much compensation the patient is entitled to receive. The trust claim that much of the costs of treatment are because of teenage drug abuse, which they are not responsible to pay for.

Taking these factors into account, the NHS Trust have valued the claim at under £1 million, arguing that the patient has maintained a “chaotic” lifestyle whilst wheelchair bound, still connected to drug addicts and other such “undesirable” characters. However, the patient’s own lawyers have estimated the value of the claim to be around £3.4 million.

Lawyers for the claimant argue that to refuse the man compensation because of his dependency disorder would be wrong as it would not allow him to adequately support himself. However, the NHS Trust argue that the patient has a responsibility to stop taking drugs, and that public policy dictates that the claim should be reduced.

The judge presiding over the case has mandated that nothing that can identify the claimant be published because of the sensitive nature. The case is expected to continue for the rest of the week.

Widower Awarded Compensation after Wife Dies due to Delayed Surgery

Posted on: July 29th, 2014 by Medical Negligence

Dublin’s High Court have awarded a man a €165,000 settlement of compensation after his wife died wrongfully due to a delayed surgery.

Helen Marlow was admitted to St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny, on the 20th December 2005 as she was suffering from intense cramps and pains in her abdomen. Ms Marlow was diagnosed with an inflammation of her bowel, and she was put on a course of antibiotics to treat the condition.

However, a few days into the treatment, Ms Marlow was still not improving. An ultrasound scan was carried out to investigate the condition, and it was uncovered that her condition was more serious than previously thought and that surgery was required. However, the first scheduled surgery was cancelled as there was no intensive care facility available to Ms Marlow after it was carried out, and Ms Marlow had to wait until the 8th of January to eventually have the procedure.

Four days after the operation, Ms Marlow died. Her cause of death was attributed to multiple failures of her organs because of sepsis, and an investigation into the circumstances of the death was launched. It was discovered that, had the operation been carried out sooner, it was unlikely that such a tragic outcome would have occurred.

Patrick Malone – Ms Marlow’s widower – consulted a solicitor and made a claim for compensation following a wrongful death due to delayed surgery. He lodged the claim against George Nessim, the consultant doctor at the hospital, and the Health Service Executive (HSE). He alleged that the death of his wife was easily avoided, and that it had caused great mental trauma to Ms Marlow’s six surviving children.

The Irish Medical Council found Dr Nessim guilt of four separate charges of misconduct, hough the HSE initially rejected any liability for Ms Marlow’s death. The case progressed to the courts, but before the hearing the HSE admitted liability and acknowledged that the hospital had failed in its duty of care to Ms Marlow.

The case then went to Dublin’s High Court for an assessment of damages. Mr Justice Ryan, the judge overseeing the case, commended the parties for reaching an agreement in a “difficult” case and awarded Mr Malone €165,000 in compensation for his wife’s wrongful death.

Compensation for Emergency Room Medical Negligence due to Septic Shock Approved

Posted on: February 19th, 2012 by Medical Negligence

The widow of a man, who passed due to avoidable circumstances after being admitted to hospital with abdominal pains, has had a settlement of compensation for emergency room medical negligence death due to septic shock approved by a court in Ireland.

Barry Murphy was just 38 years of age when admitted to hospital in April 2008 complaining of pains in his abdomen. Barry was diagnosed with a perforated bowel, and even though the hospital was aware that Barry suffered from Crohn´s Disease, it was not until much later that day that surgery was ordered.

Due to the delay in medical treatment, Barry suffered a septic shock – a condition where clots form in narrow arteries and prevent the flow of blood resulting in low blood pressure and organ failure, and one which doctors knowledgeable of his Crohn´s Disease should have taken into account. Barry was pronounced dead at 11.15pm on the same day as he was admitted to hospital.

Barry’s wife, Mary, alleged that the hospital was negligent in caring for her husband, failed to operate on him within an acceptable time frame and was responsible for his death. After seeking the guidance of medical negligence solicitors, Mary claimed compensation for wrongful death due to septic shock – a claim which the hospital denied for three years, during which time Mary suffered a psychological injury and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

However, after constant pressure and an internal examination, the hospital admitted that “the level of care provided fell short of an acceptable standard” and negotiated a settlement of 500,000 Euros compensation for wrongful death due to septic shock with the family.

At the High Court, where the settlement was approved by Mr Justice John Quirk, the hospital also said that they “apologise unreservedly to Mrs Murphy, their two daughters and the late Mr Murphy’s extended family”.