Our client C sustained a devastating and life-changing brain injury due to negligent hernia surgery. C’s family instructed Stewarts in April 2018, and we helped her secure a multi-million pound settlement to cover the costs of her future needs. Victoria Williams and Robert Dransfield review the case.
The claimant (“C”) and her husband were active grandparents providing full-time childcare to three of their young grandchildren. She lived with her husband in a two-storey annex attached to their daughter’s house.
In late December 2017, C went into hospital for minor day case hernia surgery, when an artery was damaged, leading to a large bleed. C lost nearly nine pints of blood. The delay in identifying and stopping the bleed caused C to suffer a devastating and life-changing brain injury.
Appointment of Stewarts
C’s husband and daughter approached Stewarts. We took on C’s case in April 2018 and pursued a clinical negligence claim against the defendant hospital due to the severe injuries C sustained following her hernia surgery. Victoria Williams in the clinical negligence department in the London office dealt with the case.
Throughout the first few years of the claim, C spent a lot of time away from home. C was transferred from the defendant hospital to Glenside Neurorehabilitation Centre in March 2018. C returned home in December 2018 with her husband as the sole carer.
C moved to Netley Court Care home for two short periods of respite care in 2019. In spring 2020, she moved back to Netley Court, where she remained longer than intended due to the global pandemic. C returned home in June 2020.
Challenges faced by C
As a result of her injury, C became wheelchair dependant and could only walk short distances indoors, holding on for support. She required significant care, case management and therapeutic input, particularly from physiotherapy and psychology.
C and her husband lived in a one-bedroom annex to their daughter’s property to allow them to provide significant childcare. This property was no longer suitable for C, so finding a suitable property and setting up an appropriate care package was a priority.
The legal claim
Stewarts successfully obtained an admission of liability from the defendant and interim payments of £900,000 to help introduce a care regime and support that would work for C and her husband.
C and her family had access to a case manager and occupational therapist throughout the claim. The case manager introduced a property finder to help C’s husband look for a new suitable home for C’s needs.
To assist with the claim, Stewarts instructed 12 medico-legal experts. A care expert, neuropsychologist, speech and language therapist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and accommodation expert assessed C. Each expert prepared a report, which painted an overall picture of C’s condition and future needs. Once the medico-legal evidence was complete, Stewarts was able to assess the value of C’s case fully.
Joint settlement meeting
A joint settlement meeting took place in April 2021. At the end of the day, an offer made on behalf of C was left on the table, which the defendant accepted soon after.
The claim was settled for a lump sum of £1.85m and periodical payments of £319,500 per annum. This multi-million pound settlement enabled C and her husband to find their dream home by the seaside, which suited all C’s needs. It provided C access to the necessary support, around the clock care, therapies and equipment she required.
Stewarts brought the claim to a successful conclusion within three years of instruction
For further information about the interesting legal aspects of the case, please see the article prepared by junior counsel Isaac Hogarth of 12 King’s Bench Walk.
This article was co- written by our Paralegal Olivia Shaw
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