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Woman wins £10,000 in dental negligence claim

A woman who's dentist failed to recognise the onset of gum disease has won £10,000 in compensation.

Victoria Walker, from Middlesbrough, had visited the dentist near her former home in Newcastle at least every six months, but a failure to spot her gum disease led her to lose six teeth.

It was only when Mrs Walker, 34, went to see her new dentist in Middlesbrough in 2005 that the condition was diagnosed and properly treated.

Mrs Walker, who works as a senior manager at a local law firm, is now expecting her first baby after marrying in February.

She said: "I was told that I had developed a severe case of gum disease due to years of dental neglect. I had no idea as nothing was actually visible.

"I was horrified that my previous dentist had not picked this up, especially as I had many x-rays and screenings as part of my regular check-ups."

Woman sues for personal injury compensation over Belgian face-lift

A woman from Wales whose face has been left permanently scarred following cosmetic surgery in Belgium is suing their UK clinic for personal injury compensation.

The 42 year old woman is bringing a case against Elyzea Cosmetic Surgery Group after having a face-lift and eye surgery in 2005.

The woman, who requests that she remains anonymous, says that she is left with permanent and visible scarring around her eyes and ears, as well as nerve damage, and is now too embarrassed to be seen in public.

The surgeon behind the botched operation is believed to hold complaints from 24 patients. Even so, the clinic, which also has offices in London and Manchester, denies liability.

A spokeswoman for the clinic said that because the surgery took place in Belgium, it is subject to Belgium legislation, which makes the surgeon himself legally responsible for the personal injury compensation claim.

The woman argues that as she first received consultation from a surgeon in Elyzea's London clinic that they are responsible, especially as they failed to warn her of the risks and possible nerve damage, which she claims to also now suffer from.

The case is being watched closely as it could pave the way for other patients in similar situations to sue in the UK rather than clinics abroad. UK personal injury compensation payouts are often larger.

Warrington mum wins £90,000

The mother of an epileptic teenager has won compensation from the government after a jury made up of a judge and two doctors established her son's brain damage was caused by the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Robert Fletcher, 18, from Warrington, Cheshire, was severely brain damaged after being given the vaccine at the age of 13 months. He is not autistic but does suffer from frequent epileptic fits and is unable to talk. He cannot stand or feed himself.

Robert's family successfully appealed after their earlier application, through the Government's Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme, was turned down in 1997. His mother Jackie has now won 90,000 in compensation from a medical assessment panel.

However, the ruling is not considered to be relevant to the question of whether there is a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, a link originally suggested by Dr Andrew Wakefield in a now-discredited study which was published in The Lancet in 1998.

Mrs Fletcher, who has campaigned for justice for Robert for the last 16 years, said: "What I'm hoping now is that other parents whose children have suffered a similar reaction to Robert can maybe go down the same route that we've gone down to achieve justice for their children."

A Department of Health spokesperson commented: "This decision reflects the opinion of a tribunal on the specific facts of the case and they were clear that it should not be seen as a precedent for any other case."

He added: "The safety of MMR has been endorsed through numerous studies in many countries. Thankfully, more parents are having their children vaccinated with MMR and consider it as safe as other childhood vaccines."

Quadriplegic girl wins compensation

A girl left disabled after being starved of oxygen at birth has won £4 million from the NHS in compensation as well as an unreserved apology from the NHS Trust following a successful birth injury claim.

Holly Nixon, 6, from Kidderminster, was left quadriplegic and suffering from cerebral palsy after her birth in 2003 at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Lawyers for the family argued that Mrs Nixon had needed an emergency caesarean which was not carried out until too late. As a result, Holly was born in a poor condition, the lack of oxygen to her brain subsequently leading to her severe disabilities.

The compensation package, comprising a £2 million lump sum along with annual payments to fund Holly's care, is expected to amount to £4 million in total.

Holly's father Carl said in a statement about his daughter: "By now, she should be running around with her friends and starting music or dancing classes.

"We have been robbed of this and so many other countless opportunities that she should have had in life and it is extremely difficult to come to terms with this, particularly as we now know it's all down to basic mistakes made during her birth."

Misdiagnosed patient wins £175,000

A man who was misdiagnosed with leukemia and told he had just one year to live has won £175,000 in compensation.

Anthony Moore, 46, made a medical negligence claim against Basildon Hospital in Essex after a string of mistakes led him to believe he was suffering from cancer.

In fact, Mr Moore was suffering from nerve damage as a result of prolonged and unmonitored administration of the antibiotic Linezolid, which he had been prescribed when diagnosed with MRSA - also a faulty diagnosis.

Mr Moore's symptoms, including damage to the nerves in his limbs and a nerve palsy in one knee, were later found to be the result of peripheral neuropathy, otherwise known as nerve damage, a condition which may be permanent.

Mr Moore said that, as a result of his condition, he is now unable to do certain types of work because of the difficulty of climbing ladders. He added that thinking he had only one year to live has left him with a psychological scar.

Medical negligence claim for disabled boy

A boy from Wearside has won compensation after mistakes at his birth led to him being severely disabled.

Jensen Carter, 6, was awarded a multimillion-pound settlement from the County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust, who admitted liability for his injuries.

Jensen suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of being starved of oxygen at birth at the University Hospital of North Durham. His condition affects his mobility and causes feeding and communication problems.

His mother Gina said: "This settlement will be essential to give Jensen the care, therapy and equipment he needs to make the best of his life.

"My 10-year-old daughter Sasha has been a rock and is fantastic with Jensen, but families should not have to go through what we have been through."

Gina has set up a fund to enable Jensen's specialist school, the Percy Hedley School, to build a new hydrotherapy pool. The fund, called the Tim Carter Appeal, has raised £500,000 towards its target of £1.2 million.

High Court cuts plastic surgery victim's claim from £66m to £6m

The High Court has awarded £6m in damages to a successful businesswoman whose face was badly injured by plastic surgery.

Despite being only a fraction of her original claim for £66m, the award is understood to be the biggest ever for negligent plastic surgery.

Delivering judgment in Johnson v Le Roux Fourie [2011] EWHC 1062 (QB), Mr Justice Foskett said the plastic surgeon admitted liability for Penny Johnson's injuries.

These included a "complete right-sided facial palsy" with inability to close the right eye or to control food when eating on the right side. Mr Justice Foskett said the disputed issues were the assessment of general damages and claim for loss of earnings.

"The abnormal facial movement, which is uncontrollable and of which she is acutely self-conscious, amounts to a very considerable cosmetic disability," he said.

"She also suffers abnormal sensations on the right side of the face and around the right eye, and the sagging sensation in the right eyebrow."

Foskett J said Johnson had also experienced an uncomfortable left breast, including episodes of "sharp pain and intense aching", resulting from the replacement of breast implants.

He said the psychological impact of the injuries had been "devastating" on Johnson, who he described as "formerly a confident, happy and outstandingly successful woman with a full and rewarding family and social life".

Mr Justice Foskett said Johnson and her husband set up their own company, BCL, in 1998 and she became "actively engaged" in developing it in 2001.

The court heard that the company recorded a turnover of more than £2m and gross profit of over £420,000 for the year ending 31 March 2002. The profit rose to £783,000 for the nine months ending 31 December 2002 and to £869,000 for the 12 months to 31 December 2003.
Foskett J said Johnson's argument was that BCL was "on the verge of substantial expansion and greatly increased profitability".

He went on: "The defendant's case is that the claimant's projections are wholly unrealistic, not as a consequence of deliberate exaggeration on her part, but because she is hopelessly over optimistic as to what could have been achieved. It is submitted that on an objective basis her projections are not tenable."

Foskett J questioned whether Johnson would have been able to meet the demands of "such a rapid and massive expansion of the business".

He said the expansion of the business would have required the introduction of management structures and recruiting of staff, but Johnson's evidence showed the "difficulty in recruiting managers of the requisite calibre".

Servicing the expanded number of contracts would also have required a "dramatic increase in the number of consultants".

In particular, Foskett J said Johnson's claim that her absence for the last four months of 2003 resulted in lost sales of £2.9m, which would have doubled the firm's turnover in that year, was "plainly unrealistic and serves further to undermine the degree of confidence that can be placed on her projections".

He awarded Johnson £6,190,884.92, including general damages of £80,000.

Colum Smith, head of litigation at McMillan Williams in Croydon, acted for Johnson.

"My client has been through hell and back," he commented on the firm's website. "While she has a £6.2m award, issues remain outstanding and she is likely to appeal the judges' decision."

The Medical Defence Union, which instructed Nabarro, declined to comment.


Hair dye mum wins compensation

A mother of one who experienced an allergic reaction to hair dye in 2004 has won compensation for her injuries.

Charlotte Gilchrist, now 21, was 16 when a trainee hairdresser applied dye to her hair in preparation for her school prom, without completing a skin patch test.

Gilchrist suffered an allergic reaction to the dye. Despite Doctors administering antihistamines to help ease the swelling, the teenager was left with blistered skin and a face so swollen that she could not open her eyes for five days.

She received £2,000 in compensation and the court ordered the salon owner to pay an additional £18,000 in legal costs.

Gilchrist, of Huddersfield, said: 'I felt embarrassed and upset. I wouldn't leave the house. The worst thing was the pain.'

A follow-up appointment with her doctor revealed that she had reactive eczema and would never be able to dye her hair again.

If you have suffered a personal injury as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

Girl wins £7 million in birth injury claim

A seven-year-old girl has won up to £7 million compensation in a medical negligence claim.

Ella Bryant-Brand, from Billingshurst, West Sussex, sustained brain damage when the umbilical cord became wrapped around her neck at birth and the problem was not solved fast enough.

She suffers from cerebral palsy, limited speech and limited movement in her limbs, meaning she is not able to walk.

Ella has been awarded between £5 million and £7 million compensation from the NHS Litigation Authority as a result of her birth injury at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

The successful birth injury claim is one of the largest ever compensation payouts by the NHS.

Ella's mother, Kim Bryant, intends to use the compensation to pay for the equipment and round-the-clock care needed to take care of Ella for the rest of her life.

Former Clergyman Wins Brain Tumor Compensation

A former clergyman has won compensation after the diagnosis of his tumor was severely delayed by a Nottingham hospital.

Adrian Underwood, 42, was left disabled after his undiagnosed brain tumor grew to the size of a 'large lemon'. He has now won undisclosed compensation from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Mr Underwood, from Selly Oak, Birmingham, had moved to Nottingham to further his theological studies when he began to suffer headaches and weakness on his left side.

In July 2000, he was referred to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre by his GP where he was told by a consultant that he was suffering from migraines.

When his health and vision became worse in December 2004, Mr Underwood referred himself to the Birmingham Eye Hospital, where doctors found a brain tumor the size of a large lemon.

He then underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumor and part of his skull at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, but subsequently developed an infection and experienced a seizure, which reduced his mobility.

Guy Forster, Mr Underwood's solicitor, said that if the tumor had been treated in 2001 then he would have been likely to have made a full recovery.

He said: "Due to the fundamental failure by the consultant to review the findings of the CT scan, the tumor went undiagnosed for four years, wrecking Adrian's ambitions and putting huge stress and strain on his loved ones."

Medical director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Dr Stephen Fowlie, said: "The delay in diagnosis and treatment of Mr Underwood's condition should not have occurred.

"We appreciate the distress and anxiety we have caused Mr Underwood and his family. We hope that the compensation agreed will provide Mr Underwood some security for his future."


Family wins £40,000

The family of a man who died after being given a fatal dose of painkiller by a German doctor on his first NHS shift have been awarded £40,000 in compensation.

Locum GP Daniel Ubani accidentally injected David Gray, 70, from Manea, Cambridgeshire, with 100mg of Diamorphine - ten times the recommended daily dose - during his first shift for a GP out-of-hours service in February 2008.

Ubani, who was described by coroner William Morris as 'incompetent', admitted to the Gray family that he had been tired and unfamiliar with the drug which killed his patient. Ubani has now been suspended from the UK medical register.

Mr Gray's son Stuart Gray, also a GP, said: "We've never been interested in the money. The major issue for us is pressing for a change to regulations in this country to prevent a repeat of the situation that led to my father's death."

A review by the Department of Health has revealed some areas of concern over the experience of German-trained and Italian-trained doctors who come to work as GPs in the UK.

The medical negligence claim has also led the European commission to re-evaluate the rules which govern movement of labour between EU countries.


Disabled boy to receive compensation after medical negligence results in brain injury

A 12-year-old boy is due to receive a substantial payout in compensation after medics failed to spot that he was suffering from a brain injury.

Rees Ross, of Lincoln, is now disabled as a result of the accidental injury, which happened five years ago. According to the family's solicitors, West Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust have agreed to pay compensation towards the boy's care after doctors admitted delays in sending him to hospital.

Rees had returned home from school complaining of feeling ill, after he had bumped heads with another boy while participating in a football game. His mother, Lisa Ross, phoned NHS Direct for medical help on three occasions, but each time she was told to give her son painkillers and to let him sleep.

However hours later he suffered a seizure and was rushed to hospital, where doctors found that he had internal bleeding. After surgery, Rees now has difficulty speaking and can only walk short distances without the aid of a wheelchair.

Tim Annett, from Irwin Mitchell solicitors, is in the process of calculating the amount of compensation required to pay for the youngster's long-term care.


Compensation for botched breast surgery

A group of women have won almost £700,000 compensation from Barnsley Hospital NHS

Foundation Trust after they all received botched breast surgery.

Many of the women underwent the surgery following treatment for breast cancer.

Consultant surgeon Puvaneswary Markandoo has been suspended after the women suffered injuries, pain and disfigurement as a result of their operations.

Anne Bassett from Barnsley was one of the women to receive compensation. She said that she had opted for surgery to 'feel normal again' after treatment for breast cancer.

Bassett ended up having a number of operations and described one episode as being 'like something out of a horror film', because Markandoo had operated on her while she was still awake.

'I ended up having eight or nine operations because they all went wrong,' said Bassett.

'I kept having to go back to the hospital because my stitches were busting open and leaking.

'On one occasion she said, 'I won't put you to sleep for this one' and operated on me while I was awake.

'It was like something out of a horror film. I still keep having nightmares and wake up screaming.'

A spokesperson for the Trust, which has paid an average of £35,697 to each of the 19 women to receive compensation, said: 'The trust has worked hard with its insurers and legal advisers to ensure that these matters have been dealt with as quickly and reasonably as possible.

'There are now six outstanding claims and the trust's solicitors and the solicitors for the remaining patients are continuing to investigate those in the hope that they will shortly be brought to a swift conclusion.'


Compensation and apology for family over young boy's death

A family whose young son died in 1997 after receiving "incorrect treatment" from the boy's doctor have received compensation and an apology from a Leicester hospital.

Three-year-old Ryan Pitcher, who was being treated for epilepsy, died after being given the wrong medication by Dr Andrew Holton. An initial investigation could not find a link between the actions of the doctor and Ryan's death. However his parents pursued a lengthy legal battle and after later investigations, University of Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust admitted liability for its medical negligence.

The report also found that Dr Holton misdiagnosed hundreds of other children during a period of ten years at the hospital.

Simon and Diane Pitcher from Heather, near Coalville, Leicestershire, have now received an compensation, the amount of which has not been disclosed. It is believed that around £3m has been paid by the trust to children incorrectly diagnosed by Dr Holton.

"On the basis of expert evidence, the trust accepts that Ryan's treatment and medication were incorrect," a hospital spokesperson said.

"The trust is deeply sorry for what has happened and has made an unreserved apology to Ryan's parents."


£5.6m compensation for disabled teen

A High Court judge has awarded a disabled teenager a £5.6 million compensation package in a claim for medical negligence.

Alice Joyce, 13, who was born in March 1996 at Wycombe General Hospital, Buckinghamshire, was starved of oxygen during the final hour of her delivery and suffered brain injuries as a result.

Alice suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, has severe physical problems and needs 24-hour care. She has severely delayed mental development and learning difficulties.

Her father, Chris, said: 'After a tough nine-year battle, this award will ensure Alice is looked after for the rest of her life and we are reassured about her future care when we are no longer around.'

South Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust has admitted liability and publicly apologized to the family. Neil Block QC said it was a 'matter of profound regret' that Alice 'did not receive the standard of care that she and her family were entitled to'.

The award comprises a lump sum of £2,250,000 plus annual payments of £95,000 to age 16 and £185,000 from age 16 for life.


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