Maureen, aged 80 from Kent, suffered a fall at home in January 2014. The paramedics immediately suspected a spinal injury and immobilised her neck before taking her to the Defendant Hospital. Maureen was unable to move her limbs. At the Hospital, she underwent a CT scan which was reported as normal and her neck collar was removed.
The next day, she was transferred to the Stroke Unit due to her inability to move her limbs. An MRI revealed a significant spinal injury. She was transferred to an alternative hospital, but her neck remained unsupported during the transfer.
Maureen underwent spinal surgery and required ventilation and a tracheostomy in February 2014. Maureen has been left unable to move her limbs and has ongoing respiratory problems. She has suffered from numerous urinary tract infections and pressure sores.
Maureen instructed Rob Maughan, of Pryers Solicitors, to investigate what had happened when she arrived at A&E and the care that she received during her stay at the Defendant Hospital, and to see whether her injuries were caused by negligence. We obtained expert evidence that confirmed that there had been multiple failings by the Defendant Hospital and the delay in treatment had worsened her condition, resulting in the loss of all useful function.
Our expert acknowledged that Maureen would have had some functional problems as a result of the fall in any case, but she would have maintained some of her independence. She would also not have had any respiratory or cardiovascular problems.
Maureen’s dementia developed significantly following her injury, but we were unable to link this to the negligence. The most we could do was argue that a lack of stimulus had contributed to her cognitive deterioration. It was likely that she would have required substantial future care in any event, which reduced the value of the claim significantly.
The Defendant accepted negligence and accepted our offer to settle Maureen’s case for £100,000.