Robert Sowerby was rendered blind as a result of an eye infection which was not recognised or treated. Paul McNeil successfully pursued a case against the hospital that treated him, when other solicitors had advised that there was no case.
Sixty five year old Robert Sowerby became unwell over Christmas in 2004. He was prescribed antibiotics by his GP. When his vision deteriorated, he attended Northampton General Hospital’s accident and emergency department late on 27 December.
He reported he was seeing black spots in both eyes and was suffering rigors and other signs of an infection. He saw the duty ophthalmologist who initially thought that he had a bacterial infection or a recurrence of cancer. She telephoned the ophthalmic consultant, who advised over the phone. This was against the hospital’s own protocols.
She advised to treat for cancer and not investigate or treat the infection.
The hospital’s guidelines stated that Robert should have immediately been taken to theatre and given antibiotics directly into his eyes as there was a very significant risk that he would lose his sight.
There were many occasions over the next days when the ophthalmologists should have taken the correct course but the infection remained untreated. Robert was transferred to the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre on 31 December in a moribund state.
Robert had developed septicaemia and a severe eye infection, endogenous endophthalmitis, which rendered him blind. We argued that treatment on the night of admission with intravitreal antibiotics would have saved his sight and prevented
Paul McNeil acted on behalf of Robert and pursued a medical negligence claim against the Northampton General for the delay in diagnosis and treatment. On expert advice, we alleged that with proper, earlier treatment, Robert would not have been rendered blind, although he may have suffered impaired vision as a result of the initial infection. The claim was settled for £390,000 in November 2009 and was funded by legal aid.
After the settlement Robert said:
"When I lost my sight, I lost everything. I was totally despondent. I didn’t know what to do. With the help of my family, we decided to channel our frustrations in a legal battle. We knew that I had not been treated properly, but we had to find someone who believed in our plight.
Paul McNeil believed that we had a case, although not an easy one. Paul worked tirelessly on my behalf, always seeking out the best experts and giving me advice when I needed it.
My future is now far from bleak. I will be in a position to acquire specialist equipment, which will return a degree of normality to my life. Without Paul’s hard work, none of this would have been possible."
- You can speak to any member of our Medical Negligence team on freephone 0800 358 3848
- e-Mail us at email@example.com or,
- Complete our short enquiry form.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Fieldfisher has successfully been recognised as an "Occupation and Asbestos Disease Specialists" Fieldfisher are now recognised as assessors
Charities we support
Fieldfisher hosts annual AvMA Charity Quiz Night
Fieldfisher hosted its annual AvMA Charity Quiz Night, raising over £3,500
A Face in the Crowd: Maxillofacial Trauma Conference
Fieldfisher, alongside ABI solutions, is very pleased to be running a conference in London on the 5th December to discuss different aspects of maxillofacial injuries.
An apology can be the difference between grieving well and being stuck in hell
Complicated grief can persist for years and a lack of answers can be a factor that prevents recovery after losing a loved one.
Paul McNeil's six-figure settlement for woman wrongly injected with penicillin
A woman severely allergic to penicillin has been awarded six-figure damages after an anaesthetist at the private Runnymede hospital near Guildford injected her with the drug Amoxicillin.
On World Cerebral Palsy Day, we reiterate our commitment to preventing hypoxic birth injury in the first place and then securing the best for our clients