February 15, 2012

£163,500 awarded for acquired brain injury

K was admitted to hospital with pneumonia at the age of 39. She needed to be on oxygen therapy at all times.

Despite the treatment plan she was allowed to go to the toilet on her own and without her oxygen. Because she was unaccompanied, nobody was with her when she suffered a cardiac arrest causing catastrophic and irreversible brain damage.

K was kept alive in a persistent vegetative state until a court order was obtained after 22 months allowing artificial feeding and hydration to be removed and she was allowed to die.

K left a widower, P, and 2 children. Paul Rumley was instructed to handle the case. Liability was denied by the NHSLA but eventually the claim settled for £163,500.

P says: “Paul was extremely thorough. He was always on top of the facts and I was very impressed with his confidence, particularly during stressful situations like meetings with experts. I was very grateful a mediated settlement was achieved before a formal court hearing. The final result exceeded my expectations and has made a real difference to us.”

Paul comments: “This was an extremely challenging case to deal with, not least because K was alive when the case started and we needed to deal with the family’s and( as we successfully argued) K’s wish to be allowed to die. The case was won on the basis of one word – ‘not’ – underlined twice in the nursing record. As always, attention to detail is a must with these cases.”

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