This was not recognised and as a result, Alison did not receive the necessary input of medication and her condition deteriorated. By the time the doctors realised the mistake, she had been admitted to intensive care.
Complications included an MRSA infection. At one point Alison was in a coma and it was felt she would not survive. Happily she did survive but was left with a number of significant disabilities.
Alison's injuries included a generalised and focal injury to her brain, resulting in cognitive and behavioural difficulties, damage to her lungs, a psychiatric injury and a serious disability causing clawing of the fingers on her dominant hand.
Samantha Critchley acted for Alison and she secured a formal admission of breach of duty in February 2006. Court proceedings were served in December 2006 and expert evidence was obtained from experts spanning seven different areas of medicine.
Judgment was entered in Alison’s favour in April 2007. The case was complicated by the fact that she had a number of underlying health problems including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and back pain, for which she was already in receipt of Disability Living Allowance.
This made quantifying the claim very difficult. The hospital’s starting offer in November 2006 had been £40,000. Following negotiation, the sum of £150,000 was secured on Alison’s behalf.
In addition, the hospital agreed to pay all of the legal costs. The award enabled Alison to move home to be nearer her family, which was her main goal throughout the course of the litigation. The case was funded by Legal Aid.
After the settlement Alison’s parents said:
"We would like to thank you for all the hard work that you and your team have done in obtaining such a wonderful result for Alison.
"She is over the moon at the prospect of coming back to Bournemouth to live and so are we"
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