Hospital patient wins big on medical negligence claim

Industry news roundup: week ended 31 Dec 2012:

While it won’t bring back the leg he lost while under bungled medical care, one hospital patient recently received a large personal injury compensation payment.

Russell Hession, a fifty three year old native of Ongar, in Essex, had been suffering from severe pains in his extremities, which prompted him to visit the Princess Alexandra Hospital to seek treatment. Mr Hession appeared with a letter in hand – written by his GP no less – detailing how he had been given treatment for a blood clot within his lung several years ago and that blood clots ran in his family, yet hospital staff found nothing of the sort and sent him home.

However, Mr Hession soon began to experience even worse and more excruciating pains in his arms and legs, forcing him to return to hospital where he was given an ultrasound examination, this time to search of any evidence of deep vein thrombosis. Again there was nothing amiss according to the medical professionals, and on a third hospital visit – which had Mr Hession nearly incapacitated from pain, he was informed that he should take two paracetamol tablets for the ‘torn muscle’ he was suffering from.

Of course, it turns out that the poor man did indeed have a terrible blood clot, and his GP was the one who discovered it after being unable to find the man’s pulse in his right leg. Mr Hession’s blood flow in that leg had been reduced by so much and for so long that the only option left was amputation.

That was quite enough, as far as Mr Hession was concerned, and he launched a medical negligence compensation against the NHS Trust for the hospital on the grounds that he would still be walking about on two legs if hospital staff weren’t so incompetent. After the hospital made an admission of liability for his lost leg, Mr Hession was awarded a compensation award for £500,000 – cold comfort for a missing leg, but at least the parties responsible have had to pay for their mistakes!

Cyclist sues for injuries caused in accident with police car

Industry news roundup: week ended 17 Dec 2012:

This week it was revealed that a cyclist that suffered life-changing injuries after a road traffic accident with a police car will bring a compensation claim.

Donald MacLeod, a sixty two year old former journalist, had been cycling about through London when the vehicle in question, a police car on its way to respond to an emergency call elsewhere, struck him with enough force to send him quite literally flying through the air, according to eyewitness accounts. Mr MacLeod sustained massive injuries as a result from his impromptu flight across the road to the point where it was six long weeks before he emerged from his coma only to be left with such devastating injuries that he has difficulties speaking, moving, and caring for himself.

The poor man now needs 24 hour a day constant care around the clock in order to function on any level whatsoever, and due to the massive costs involved in providing Mr MacLeod’s care, he and his family have made a personal injury compensation claim for negligence against the Metropolitan Police Force. With the £30,000 raised by Mr MaLeod’s colleagues and friends merely a drop in the bucket compared to what he will need to pay for care in the long term, the injured man’s personal injury solicitors are asking for more than £1 million in compensation.

So far there has been no word on how the police will react to the lawsuit and whether they will seek to reach an out of court settlement or if they will defend the claim in court. However, eyewitness accounts do report that Mr MacLeod had not only been wearing a helmet at the time of the incident – a precautionary measure that may have very well preserved his life – but also a high visibility vest, meaning that the police may have little in the way of an excuse if they failed to see the cyclist on their way to respond to an emergency that day.

Pub landlady seeking nearly £1 million after fall from height

Industry news roundup: week ended 10 Dec 2012:

It’s a bad day for one pub landlady this week after she had to make a personal injury claim after a nasty from a fall from height from an attic ladder.

Mira Bateman, the fifty seven year old publican and tenant of the Plowden Arms, located near Henley-on-Thames, when fell from the ladder after its retaining bolt gave way, falling to the ground, knocking out one of her teeth, fracturing her jaw, injuring her spine and neck, and knocking herself unconscious. The initial incident, which occurred two years ago, Mrs Bateman still suffers from back pain originating from spinal nerve damage, according to an MRI scan that revealed the debilitating and serious damage.

However, this week the former landlady has made a personal injury claim against W.H. Breakspear & Sons, the owner of the Oxfordshire brewery, for £975,000. Mrs Bateman claims that the brewery had a duty to provide proper and safe access to the attic area of the pub, though the brewery has been adamant that they are not responsible for the incident, and have since remarked that Mrs Bateman should have made her personal injury compensation claim much sooner than she had.

Now, the matter rests in a judge from the High Court of London, which will decide if the former landlady will be permitted to pursue her claim against the brewery.  Regardless of whether Mrs Bateman will be barred from pursuing her claim due to the amount of time elapsed between the initial injury and now, falls from height can and routinely are the cause of incredibly painful and serious injuries.

The ironic part of the entire situation is that the landlady had been attempting to put away Christmas decorations after the end of the festive season two years ago when the unfortunate incident occurred. It would be a shame if the injured woman was denied the ability to pursue her claim as Christmas is a scant fortnight away, though the law has little in the way of sentiment in situations like this.

Major incident at work leads to fine for Kent firm

Weekly news recap: 7 days ending 3 Dec 2012

A serious hand injury suffered on the job by one employee has led to his Kent-based employer to face serious fines from the Health and Safety Executive.

This week, the big news was how BMM Weston Ltd ran into serious fines as a result of an HSE investigation following a grisly personal injury at work that involved an unguarded circular saw. Kent factory worker Graham Beal, from Faversham, suffered a nasty wound to his hand as he was attempting to use the saw to cut a solid steel piece in order to shape it for a metal trolley handle. Mr Beale had been using the metal cutting saw to cut the steel into the proper shapes, but had to hold the bit of metal in place by hand as the saw’s clamping system was not working properly.

The worker sustained severed tendons and some quite serious lacerations to his hand when it came in contact with the saw blade due because of the malfunctioning clamping system, sending him to hospital and causing the HSE to send a pack of inspectors out to investigate the cause of the industrial accident. The HSE’s investigation discovered bad news for Mr Beal’s employer, as the circular saw was found to be in such an unsuitable condition that it was declared generally unsafe due to poor maintenance – and that wasn’t the only piece of manufacturing equipment at the factory that was found to be similarly in disrepair.

The HSE prosecuted BMM Weston Ltd – as it usually does after finding some rather egregious health and safety violations at a worksite – and the manufacturing firm gave up the ghost, admitting to breaching work equipment regulations not once but twice. The Weston Works, Faversham-based company was told to pay a fine of £2,400 for their breaches and has since ensured that the clamping mechanism on the saw is now working properly and that the saw itself has been suitably fitted with guarding as well.

There is yet to be any indication regarding whether Mr Beal will be making a personal injury compensation claim against his employer.