BC is a 54-year-old married man with a 26-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter. He had served for over 10 years in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy on HMS Renown, a nuclear submarine, and taken part in the Royal Tournament and Royal Navy Command Field Gun Crew.
At the time of the incident, he was employed as a service engineer working in maintenance and repair of bank security systems. He says that work did not feel like work, every day was a new challenge and work felt like a hobby. Since leaving the forces, BC had continued to keep up his fitness levels and had obtained a National Association of Body Building certificate. He was an avid go-kart racer, a hobby he enjoyed with his son who had won a number of awards and also raced in the Kartmasters, the British championships. They undertook their own mechanics together.
The incident and injuries
In January 2013, BC developed the sudden onset of excruciating back pain and went to his local A&E department. He was sent home with a diagnosis of muscle strain. His pain worsened over the next few days until one morning he collapsed on standing up. He returned to his local hospital by ambulance. He was eventually transferred to another hospital for an MRI scan, which showed he had a spinal abscess compressing his spinal cord. He had emergency surgery but his mobility remains permanently impaired. He has bowel and bladder damage, has not been able to work and his functional disability has caused him depression.
The emotional effects on BC of his injury have been significant. He describes that he felt he had the winning lottery ticket before his spinal injuries and then lost it.
After conducting its own investigations, the defendant NHS hospital trust admitted it failed to carry out a full neurological examination, including an MRI scan, when the client first attended their hospital. Had an MRI been carried out, the client would have had surgery at a time when he would have made a full recovery. He would have had no long-term significant deficits in lower limb function and no ongoing problems with his bladder or bowels.
Expert evidence was obtained from experts in seven fields as to BC’s condition and prognosis, and the quantification of his claim. This included an employment expert, the need for which the defendant contested at case management conference. After hearing arguments by both parties, the judge gave permission for this expert.
The expert evidence said that BC’s two storey home was unsuitable and recommended that he should move into single level accommodation.
Settlement and life beyond injury
At a settlement meeting one month before the date set for trial, the parties reached an agreement. The client has received a significant award to provide him with the funds for his future needs, including accommodation, care, equipment and therapies. Four years after his injuries, he had a go in a go-kart. Nervous and with supervision, he slowly got in and out of the kart and was able to go around the track. It was a tearful return for him and he plans to get back to it on a more regular basis.
Testimonial from our client
BC said of Stewarts:
“I couldn’t have asked for anything better than what Stewarts offered me.
“As is the nature of these things, the case went on for a while, but I was kept informed on a regular basis of what was going on.
“I was very impressed with Gabrielle Ross who was always happy to answer any questions I may have.
“Everyone I dealt with at Stewarts was very polite and helpful.”
You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Clinical Negligence pages.
Life Beyond Injury
We have teamed up with other clients who have catastrophic injuries to tell their stories of Life Beyond Injury. Please visit the Life Beyond Injury webpages here.
We hope that by sharing these stories, newly injured people can see that with the right support they too can overcome adversity to lead full and active lives.
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