Family “Grateful for Justice” after Mum Sustains Brain Injury in Hospital

Author:
Sarah Holdsworth
Senior Associate Solicitor, Medical Negligence Claims
Date:
16/06/2021

We helped the family of a woman who suffered a brain injury in a fall from a hospital trolley and had to move into a nursing home, where she passed away.

Mrs C, a woman in her late 70s, was in hospital being treated for a water infection when she fell from a hospital trolley and hit her head.

She sustained a serious brain injury in the fall and then went on to suffer a stroke, which made the brain injury worse.

The stroke caused severe neurological impairment and she struggled to communicate, so her quality of life was dramatically affected.

Before her injury, Mrs C had enjoyed an active family life, taking responsibility for most household chores and regularly looking after her grandchildren. She’d also been very physically independent, able to walk unaided and climb the stairs without help.

Due to her condition, Mrs C’s family, including her devastated husband, made the tough decision to move her into a nursing home, so she could receive the day-to-day, round the clock care that she needed.

Taking Legal Action

The family contacted our team of Medical Negligence Solicitors to discuss claiming compensation from the NHS Trust that had been treating Mrs C, as they felt her fall from the hospital trolley was the result of inadequate treatment.

I agreed to help the family with the claim, and immediately began investigating the details of what happened and the impact of her injury.

While the claim was still ongoing, Mrs C sadly passed away after being diagnosed with abdominal cancer, but we continued to act on behalf of her family.

How We Helped

The NHS Trust admitted that mistakes had been made, which led to her falling and suffering a serious brain injury.

Although it was accepted that Mrs C would probably have had a stroke at some stage, maybe five or six years after she did, the fact it happened sooner had a huge consequence.

Had it not been for the neurological condition caused by the fall, Mrs C would’ve been able to report symptoms including weight loss, loss of appetite and abdominal pain, which would’ve led to her abdominal cancer being diagnosed much earlier.

She would also have been well enough to have had appropriate investigation and treatment, and so wouldn’t have died from the abdominal cancer.

But the tumour was diagnosed at an advanced stage and her neurological condition meant she was too frail to undergo a biopsy and have treatment. This, we argued, meant the medical negligence in hospital did cause her death.

“After a catalogue of gross medical negligence failings, we are so grateful that Simpson Millar guided us to achieve some kind of justice after what was a devastating life-changing event which led to my Mum’s premature death.”

Mrs C’s daughter

What was the Outcome?

A Joint Settlement Meeting was arranged with the NHS Trust’s legal representative, and following negotiations, a compensation settlement of £275,000 was agreed.

This saved the family the added distress and upset of having to go to Court to resolve the claim.

Although no amount of compensation could make up for what the family had been through and their loss, it meant the family could get the sense of justice they needed.

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