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Six figure settlement for man who suffered brain injury due to lack of oxygen

Patrick was a relatively fit and healthy man in his mid-50s with no previous history of heart problems who loved life and especially dancing.

He was out dancing one night when he suffered a cardiac arrest. He fell unconscious, his heart stopped beating and he stopped breathing.

A paramedic arrived in a Rapid Response Vehicle followed by an ambulance. The paramedic and ambulance crew carried out CPR on Patrick and were able to restore his heart rate and manage his breathing. However, during the time it took for the paramedic to arrive, Patrick suffered a lengthy lack of oxygen to the brain resulting in severe brain damage.

The nightclub did not have any member of staff on the premises who was first aid trained but more importantly, we later learned that two off-duty nurses tried to assist Patrick, but were restrained from doing so by a club employee.

Patrick was in a coma for many weeks. Although he has recovered from the coma, he has to deal with the long term effects of what happened. He has difficulty communicating, needs full time support and sadly now resides in a nursing home.

We argued on behalf of Patrick and his family that the club failed in their duty of care to Patrick by not having any first aid trained employees on site and for not allowing the two nurses to give assistance. If CPR had been carried out in those vital first minutes following his cardiac arrest, there would have been no damage to Patrick’s brain and he would have achieved a far better outcome and recovery.

The case settled for a six figure sum to allow the family to set up a regime of therapy and extra support to enhance Patrick’s quality of life and gain a little independence.

Rachel Rees acted for Patrick and his family and commented:

This case was very complex involving arguments about the extent of the duty of care on bystanders and the owners of the premises to give First Aid.

Fortunately, we obtained crucial witness statements very early in the case which were essential to negotiating the financial settlement to enable Patrick to re-start his life, getting him physically fitter and more mobile with the help of a physiotherapist as he still loves getting out and about.


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