Baby Liam was born in November 2004, healthy and in good condition. Two weeks later he became unwell and vomited what appeared to be blood on his clothes.
Liam’s parents took him (and the soiled clothing) to an out of hours GP just before 8pm. They told the GP that Liam was refusing his food, was pale, his temperature was low and that he vomited what appeared to be blood.
The GP tried to reassure Liam’s parents and sent them home. He recorded in the notes (in contradiction to the parent’s history) that Liam had taken a feed and was alert with good colour and tone.
At about 10pm Liam’s lips turned blue. His parents rushed him to the hospital. On the way Liam stopped breathing. Neither his parents nor doctors at the hospital were able to resuscitate him. A post-mortem revealed that Liam’s death was caused by volvulus, a twisting of the bowel, which can be common in young babies.
Samantha Critchley represented the family at the Inquest in November 2005. The Coroner recorded a verdict of natural causes but ruled that the better course of action would have been for the GP to refer Liam to hospital and that this may have allowed time for Liam to undergo life-saving treatment
After the Inquest Samantha Critchley was instructed by Liam’s parents to take a claim against the GP for negligence.
Our expert evidence stated that if Liam been referred to the paediatric unit in the hospital, he would have been admitted and given IV fl uids and antibiotics. A diagnosis of small bowel obstruction would have been made and surgery would have been performed to resolve it. Our case was that with proper care Liam would have survived.
We put forward a claim for Liam’s pain and suffering and for his parents’ bereavement, psychological injuries and loss. The claim was settled for £92,500 in October 2009. The case was funded on a “no win no fee” basis.
Liam’s parent’s said:
“At every stage during the long process we felt confident that Samantha was giving us the correct advice and selecting the best experts to assist her with our case.
Without Samantha’s help we know that our son’s voice would not of been heard as well. she treated us with the perfect mix of compassion and professionalism. Sam made what was obviously a very difficult process for us as easy as it could be”
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