A woman who was diagnosed with stomach cancer and underwent surgery to have her stomach removed – only to discover that the tumour within it was benign – has received an undisclosed cancer misdiagnosis compensation settlement from the Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust.
The 74 year old victim, who lives in Rugeley, Staffordshire, underwent surgery in 2004 after she was informed by doctors that a tumour in her stomach was malignant and the whole organ would have to be removed in order to stop the cancer from metastasizing. It was only during her long recovery following the operation that the woman learnt from medical support staff the operation had been unnecessary.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, still suffers from painful digestive problems seven years after the erroneous operation, and has lost a substantial amount of weight as a result. She requires regular assistance in order to perform daily household activities and has had to withdraw from the voluntary work she once did for local charities.
The compensation settlement for the victim´s cancer misdiagnosis includes damages for the pain and suffering she experienced at the time of her operation, throughout the recovery period and that which is ongoing. The settlement also includes an element for the emotional trauma the woman suffered when first being told that she had a life-threatening cancer.
A Staffordshire couple have won their hospital negligence claim against the Stafford Hospital after a tube was left in their son´s throat for ten days following his delivery in February 2007.
Claire and Kevin Thomas of Cannock, Staffordshire, took the hospital to court after their ten day old son coughed up the six inch long endotracheal tube which had been inserted in his throat to help him breathe during a difficult delivery.
Because of complications during baby Owen´s birth, mother and son were still in the specialist care unit of Stafford Hospital when the incident happened and he was able to receive immediate medical attention.
Although Owen – who is now four years of age – suffered no long term health effects from the surgical error, his parents decided to take legal advice and made a hospital negligence claim against the hospital and the staff who had assisted with Owen´s delivery.
The claim has now been settled against Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust for an undisclosed sum
A man who was discharged from hospital with a broken neck, after he was assured by his doctor that he was “fine”, has won his doctor negligence claim for compensation and been awarded 7 million dollars compensation by a jury at the Federal District Court in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Louis Prager was a healthy husband, father and grandfather who worked as an oil field worker near his home in Campbell County, Wyoming. On December 9 2008, Louis was rushed to Campbell County Memorial Hospital after being involved in a rollover accident in his car. Immobilised and wearing a neck brace, Louis was attended by Dr. Brian Cullison in the Accident and Emergency Department, who organised a CT scan and for x-rays to be taken of Louis´ head and back.
Dr Cullison released Louis the same day – without performing a physical examination, despite his patient complaining on neck pain, and minus the neck brace – but four days later, Louis returned to the Accident and Emergency Department of Campbell County Memorial Hospital having lost the use of his left arm and shoulder. He was diagnosed with multiple cervical spine fractures which had caused C5 nerve root injuries and underwent emergency neck fusion surgery.
Despite several further surgeries to relieve the pain and implant a spinal cord stimulator, the condition became permanent and, after taking legal advice, Luis sued Dr Cullison and the Campbell County Memorial Hospital for doctor negligence.
At the trial, the jury heard the hospital and Dr Cullison both deny the allegations of doctor negligence – with the doctor claiming that he had performed a physical examination and it was not usual practice for the victim of a rollover car accident to have neck x-rays. However, a medical expert testified that had the doctor examined Louis´ neck, he could not have failed to miss the injury.
After deliberating in private, the jury found in favour of Louis, and awarded him 7 million dollars for the pain and suffering he had experienced due to the doctor´s negligence, his loss of amenity and loss of income as he is no longer able to work. The jury also awarded Louis´ wife, Rebecca, a further 2 million dollars for loss of consortium – the combined figure setting a new record for the highest doctor negligence claim settlement in the State of Wyoming.
A Pennsylvania woman, who had to have the lower part of both legs removed after a bacterial infection entered her body via a catheter feeding tube, has been awarded 23.1 million dollars in medical malpractice compensation by a jury in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
The 55-year-old woman, who has not been named, was a home patient of St. Luke’s Miners Memorial Home Care in Lehighton and was being treated for complications from Crohn’s disease. In October 2008, a home care nurse noticed the woman was having trouble breathing and had numbing in her lower extremities.
The woman was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital where her symptoms worsened within hours. She was eventually diagnosed with gangrene and a finger on her left hand was amputated, as well as both legs above the knees.
It was claimed in the subsequent action against St. Luke´s that the nurse had failed to notice and report the symptoms of a bacterial infection in a timely manner, and that the delay led to the infection developing in the woman´s bloodstream.
After a protracted court case, the jury at Lehigh County Court found the nurse and St. Luke’s Miners Memorial Home Care liable and awarded medical malpractice compensation of 23.1 million dollars to account for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost earnings.
A New Jersey family has settled their claim for birth injury compensation, after their son was brain damaged during his delivery due to a lack of oxygen.
Emily Ordonez of Bayonne, New Jersey, was admitted to the Bayonne Medical Centre on August 14 2005 after showing the first signs of labour. No complications were expected, as all the prenatal tests had indicated that this was a normal and healthy baby.
However, within a short space of time the baby’s heart rate decreased from 140 beats per minute to less than 60 beats per minute due to a compressed umbilical cord. The compression resulted in a prolonged lack of oxygen, and subsequently Emily’s baby son, Jose, is unable to see, walk or hold his head up.
The claim against Bayonne Medical Centre, the delivery room nurse, her supervisor and the obstetrician, was made on the grounds that the delivery nurse waited almost half an hour after noticing the decline in the baby’s heart beat before calling the obstetrician. He, in turn, failed to arrive for twenty minutes, and then did not commence an emergency Caesarean section operation for a further twenty minutes.
The Bayonne Medical Centre admitted liability, and the hospital’s insurance company is to pay 6 million dollars to Jose to provide for his medical care in the future, with a further 2.5 million dollar settlement being paid to Emily and her husband for their emotional pain.
Jose, now 5, still lives at home with three older siblings. He requires full time care due to suffering frequent seizures and has to be fed through a straw.
Rhiannon Hayman of Bridgend, was awarded a compensation package of about £6.5 million arising out of the significant brain damage she suffered at birth in November 1994. Liability for the medical negligence claim was admitted by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Local Health Board, who also gave an unreserved apology, and there was agreement compensation package. Hayman, now 15 years old, was born at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend and suffered a severe lack of oxygen during the procedure. Hayman needs 24-hour care and assistance for the rest of her life.
The settlement is a model for how compensation for injuries that require long term care should be packaged, consisting of a lump sum of more than £2 million and annual payments of between £105,000 to £160,000.
Mark Thomas has just been awarded £3.2million in compensation for failure to diagnose meningitis, compounded by the fact that the victim was turned away from Walsall Manor Accident and Emergency Department and his parents were admonished at the time for ‘misusing the emergency services’. It took a second opinion five days after the initial hospital visit to determine that Mark Thomas had meningitis.
In this tragic case, Mark Thomas has been left with brain damage and no short term memory and will never be able to work or live without a carer. The NHS trust involved has apologised to the family.
Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Some of the common symptoms include headaches, neck stiffness, fever, confusion, vomiting, and light or noise intolerance. Meningitis is life-threatening and has a high mortality rate if untreated and delayed treatment can result in brain damage. Wide-spectrum antibiotics are therefore normally prescribed immediately, even before confirmatory tests are conducted.