Medical Negligence News

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.