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Case Study

Damages awarded in fatal cardiac negligence claim

Nathan was born in February 1978. He was diagnosed with Alstrom Syndrome, which caused blindness, diabetes and excessive weight gain.

In October 1991, Nathan was a pupil at the RNIB College in Worcester. He attended a hospital appointment with a cardiologist in November 1992, but no treatment or follow-up was given.

In November 1994, Nathan collapsed with a heart condition and was admitted as an emergency to the Torbay Hospital. It was established that he suffered from cardiomyopathy.

Nathan again collapsed with heart failure in July 1997 but despite intensive treatment including a heart transplant at the Papworth Hospital, Nathan died on 11 May 2003.

Other solicitors were instructed to investigate and pursue a claim for Nathan. Before he died, those solicitors advised him that he would not be able to succeed with his claim even though the defendant health authority had admitted breach of duty.

In August 2001, the case was referred to Paul McNeil who investigated whether the failure of the cardiologist to follow-up Nathan in November 1992 resulted in a failure to prescribe ACE inhibitors which might have prevented the cardiac failure.

We applied to adjourn the trial and in subsequent proceedings were able to successfully argue that Nathan's heart condition had been made worse by the failure of the hospital in 1992. Sadly, the settlement came after Nathan's death and the case was settled for £20,000 in June 2003.

Contact us

For further information about cardiac surgery negligence claims and clinical negligence claims, please call Paul McNeil on 020 7861 4019 or email paul.mcneil@fieldfisher.com.

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