£445,000 agreed with Royal Free Hospital Trust for failing to treat father's fatal heart condition | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

£445,000 agreed with Royal Free Hospital Trust for failing to treat father's fatal heart condition

Iona Meeres-Young settled a clinical negligence claim on behalf of the widow of a 39-year-old man who died following negligent treatment at the Royal Free Hospital.

The Claimant and her husband had been married for more than four years prior to his death and their daughter was only two when her father died. The couple were both working parents and had a busy and happy life.

The Claimant's husband went to his GP in June 2017 complaining of chest pain. He was referred to the cardiology clinic at the Royal Free Hospital in August 2017 and a cardiology consultant discharged him with a diagnosis of possible cardiomyopathy.

The following day, the consultant referred the man for review in the cardiomyopathy clinic held by another cardiology specialist, but he never received an outpatient clinic appointment.

In November 2018, the man collapsed at home and an ambulance was called. The Claimant and then the paramedics attempted to resuscitate him but were unable to do so and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A subsequent post-mortem concluded the cause of death to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle condition that manifests as a thickened heart muscle.

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust conducted a Serious Incident Investigation that was critical of the management of the man's referral and identified issues that ultimately led to him not receiving the outpatient appointment and appropriate treatment.

In 2019, the Claimant instructed Iona Meeres-Young to investigate a clinical negligence claim regarding her husband's treatment. Iona invited the Trust to make early admissions of liability given their own findings and the facts of the case.

In 2020, the Trust admitted that the care provided had been negligent in that the Claimant's husband was not offered an appointment in the cardiomyopathy clinic when he should have been. It was admitted that had this happened, he would have been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and would have been fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. Ultimately, the Trust admitted that the Claimant's husband would not have suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in November 2018.

Following admission, Iona instructed experts to address the man's probable life expectancy had the negligence not occurred and to quantify the claim. The Claimant's expert concluded that the husband would have survived until age 66.

Negotiations commenced with the Defendant at the earliest opportunity and a settlement of £445,000 was agreed on behalf of the Claimant and her daughter as his dependents and on behalf of the estate of the deceased.

At conclusion of the case, the Claimant said:

'I highly recommend this firm. My case was handled by Iona Meeres-Young, who was supportive, caring and human from the outset, while achieving the best possible result.

'From the very first meeting,  she held my hand every step of the way, encouraging me to forge ahead and putting my case forward in the most compelling way, ensuring that she pushed for the best outcome. Highly skilled and professional with a compassionate and sensitive approach, she took the time to explain every detail in lay terms numerous times and her patience was unending.

'She ensured that I fully understood my options, guided my choices through a very difficult time. Her communication was excellent and she was always available to allay any concerns and clarify any questions. The team she works with have similar qualities, being highly skilled and professional with heaps of empathy, helping make what was an unbearable ordeal endurable. I cannot thank Iona and her team enough. They are the best team to have fighting your corner.'

Contact us

For further information about medical negligence claims, please call Iona Meeres-Young on 03304606769 or email iona.meeres-young@fieldfisher.com.


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.

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Medical Negligence Claims