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Compensation secured for woman who suffered a severe and life changing brain injury following a misdiagnosis

In March 2015 our client, Carole*, underwent surgery to treat a perceived aneurysm but she had been mistakenly diagnosed and did not in fact have an aneurysm. Whilst undergoing the operation-a craniotomy-which she did not in fact need, she suffered a bleed within the frontal lobe of her brain and required two further operations. As a result, Carole was left with a severe and life changing brain injury.

Since March 2015, Carole has suffered with persistent and significant problems with her memory, concentration and attention. She is easily distractible and has slowed information processing. She requires constant supervision and is dependent on others for prompts and reminders to participate in tasks and activities throughout the day. She has problems with her balance and mobility, as a consequence of her brain injury which impacts on her perception and confidence, and is at risk of falling.

Helen Dolan, Senior Partner and Head of the Clinical Negligence team, acted on Carole’s behalf and successfully argued that with appropriate care she would have avoided surgery and subsequent brain injury. Judgement was entered on Carole’s behalf in early 2018.

Lesley Herbertson, Partner, dealt with quantifying the extent of our client’s injuries and consequent loss and damage.

Whilst Carole and her husband were very attached to their existing home, following Carole’s injury, this was unsuitable and unable to meet her specific needs. The couple had taken steps to adapt their home to provide Carole with easier access to the kitchen and a downstairs wet-room, but a safer environment overall was required and Lesley facilitated them finding and purchasing a more suitable dormer bungalow property, which was purchased with an interim payment on account of damages.

Carole was able to partake in physiotherapy and hydrotherapy as well as accessing psychology and speech and language therapy to help enhance her cognitive and physical recovery. Additional input and support allowed her to re-engage with the hobbies and activities that she enjoyed before the injury such as cooking and baking.

The trial which would deal with the value of the claim, was due to commence in November 2019. A Joint Settlement Meeting took place in September 2019 and the parties were able to engage in productive negotiations. Carole’s claim settled shortly after the meeting for a lump sum of £1.7 million with a periodical payment in respect of care and case management of £128,500 beginning 15 December 2021 for life.

Lesley Herbertson commented:

“Carole’s injury has not only had a significant impact on her own life but also on her family, and in particular her husband. As a couple they have struggled to come to terms with facing a very different retirement and future to that which they had been looking forward to. This settlement will not only provide Carole with the intensive rehabilitation and support she will need on a daily basis in order to lead a fulfilling life but it will also afford much needed respite for her family.”

*The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

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