Harriet, now aged 72, a former midwife who had studied law, had suffered from hypertension since the late 1970s. In addition, in 1985 she was diagnosed with diabetes.
We alleged, on her behalf, that the treating clinicians at the hospital failed to adequately treat or control her diabetes and hypertension.
Specifically, we alleged that there was a failure to treat her persistently raised blood glucose levels and to take effective steps to lower her blood pressure.
A secondary consequence of diabetes is the possibility of diabetic retinopathy which can lead to blindness.
Although she underwent some ophthalmic reviews and had laser treatment, the treatment was both inadequate and carried out too late.
Sadly and unsurprisingly diabetic retinopathy occurred which led to total blindness except for limited vision in the right eye.
In addition, the delays in treatment resulted in kidney damage and probable need for future dialysis.
We acted for Harriet in pursuing a claim for medical negligence. The hospital defended the claim largely on the grounds that Harriet was the author of her own misfortune.
The hospital alleged that she failed to stick to a proper diet and failed to take her medication as prescribed.
The case was supported by an expert diabetologist and ophthalmologist and we issued proceedings on Harriet's behalf.
The claim was listed for trial in July 2007. A few weeks before the trial the defendant’s began to negotiate and Harriet accepted £250,000 in compensation.
Harriet received all her compensation and the defendant agreed to pay all her legal costs as well. The case was initially privately funded and then conducted on a no win no fee basis.
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