Claim for Clinical Negligence after Rose’s Inquest
Rose passed away in April 2009 and her family were unhappy with the treatment she had received. We were instructed by her Daughter and Son to investigate this treatment provided by the hospital. We then represented the family at the Inquest.Rose’s daughter and son, Kath and Alan, contacted Barratts medical negligence team because they were concerned about her treatment. They instructed our solicitors and asked us to investigate the treatment the Defendant Trust had provided.
Rose had attended hospital on 13 April 2009 complaining of violent stomach pains and nausea. The hospital admitted her at around 6pm and staff diagnosed Rose with constipation. They transferred her to a ward for observation. Rose’s condition had deteriorated significantly by the morning of the 14 April. She was transferred as an emergency to another hospital within the same Trust, arriving at 3pm.
Rose was noted to have deteriorated further. Her legs had a mottled appearance and were cold to touch. Staff could not feel any of Rose’s peripheral pulses. At 4:30pm Rose suffered a heart attack and although she was stabilised, she was considered too unstable for surgery. Sadly, Rose passed away shortly afterwards. The cause of death was large bowel obstruction and diverticular stricture of sigmoid colon.
An Inquest confirmed that Rose had received substandard treatment. However, the Coroner concluded that this did not affect the outcome. The Court’s view was that Rose would have died, regardless of the standard of treatment she received. Kath and Alan were not satisfied with this explanation which is why they instructed us to represent them and to investigate a claim in negligence.
Evidence for the claim
We obtained supportive evidence from a General Surgeon which looked at Rose’s case more fully. This evidence confirmed that the treatment provided in April 2009 was negligent. It also confirmed that treatment Rose received from the same Trust 6 months previously was also negligent. Rose had been referred to hospital in November 2008. At that time she was complaining of lower abdominal pain and constipation. The hospital carried out some investigations but they negligently regarded the results as ‘normal’. Rose had been discharged in January 2009. The evidence confirmed that, had investigations been appropriately considered and followed through, then the events of April 2009 would not have happened. Further, had Rose undergone further investigation on her admission on 13 April and/or been treated urgently on the morning of the 14 April she would not have died.
The Defendants admitted liability and they made an offer of £30,000 which was rejected. Rose was only 64 years old at the time of her death and had been an active mother, partner and grandmother. She had spent most of her time helping her children, Kath and Alan and spending time with her grandchildren and partner, Glen. After we had gone through the inquest process, we helped Kath, Alan and Glen to claim damages for loss of financial dependency and loss of services. They eventually agreed to a settlement of £120,000.
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