I wrote a blog in September 2016 about my client who was admitted to hospital with appendicitis but who was not treated appropriately, click here to view my previous blog. That failure resulted in serious injury. Negligence was admitted by the hospital. I have since recovered a substantial damages award for him – £190,000 in settlement of his loss.
My client had been discharged home 3 days after removal of his appendix. It was subsequently found that his appendix stump had been left in situ. That resulted in 4-quadrant peritonitis necessitating open surgery by way of a laparotomy. While he recovered, my client endured having a stoma for 7 months during which time he was unable to work.
Employed as a construction project manager, my client received only part of his earnings while absent from work and lost out on opportunities for promotion resulting in a loss of £12,500. He claimed his further loss of earnings until such time as he anticipated reaching the same level of pay as he would have been expected but for his injury, resulting in further recoverable losses of £57,000.
The injury had a huge impact on my client’s family, including his partner and daughters in particular. My client’s partner cared for him day and night throughout the early days of his recovery and went on to assist over the many months that followed. A particular problem was leakage from the stoma site which resulted in increased washing requirements. An award of £15,000 was agreed.
A particular feature over my client’s recovery period was the constant blockage of his stoma. Being vegetarian my client’s existing diet was not conducive to his newly found clinical position and it had to be changed. To prevent blockages, symptoms of weight loss and to maximise his recovery my client adapted his diet and supplemented what he ate with additional nutritional intake; the increased cost of which was recovered in the claim.
There were other losses too; the cost of additional hospital stays, out of pocket expenses in respect of travel and medication and exercise classes to help rebuild my client’s strength following his eventual discharge from treatment.
The future remained a little uncertain for my client. He was at risk of needing hernia repair and nasogastric surgery, the cost of which was included in the claim. In the longer term it was expected that my client would need to refrain from heavy lifting and that he would suffer from global weakness compared to how he was before. With this in mind, allowance was made for him to have assistance with future DIY and gardening tasks at home.
The anticipated award from a judge for my client’s pain, suffering and loss of amenity may have been as high as £60,000. The eventual settlement reached provided for the upper estimate of what may have been achieved, had the matter proceeded to a contested trial to decide the amount of damages.
The overall settlement of £190,000 represented an excellent outcome for my client and his family. The much needed funds will go some way to ensuring that he can put the ordeal of his treatment behind him.
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