Over the Christmas of 1995, our client, Margerie, presented at her local hospital, the Medway Maritime, then aged 21, with cholesteatoma in her right ear, which was operated on initially, at the Medway Maritime Hospital, in December 1995.
The operating ENT Surgeon advised that he had managed to remove all the disease. This was not accurate.
Thereafter, Margerie remained under the care of the Medway Maritime as well as St Thomas’s Hospital in London.
Both negligently failed to diagnose the disease re-emerging and spreading.
Between the two hospitals, no fewer than four separate MRI and CT scans were negligently taken, analysed or reported between April 1997 and December 2001.
Independent of this, the hospitals negligently failed to act upon Margerie’s presenting symptoms.
In consequence, she suffered a right sided facial palsy, deafness in the right ear and hearing loss and tinnitus in the left ear. She also suffered with depression.
Nick Fairweather handled her case for her.
He was first instructed in May 2002.
In response to pre action protocol letters of claim, both Defendant Trusts disputed each and every one of the ten separate heads of negligence alleged.
They then filed a defence admitting to a number of heads of negligence, particularly in relation to the scans, but denying that any injury to Margerie flowed from these negligences.
After exchange of witness statements, the London Trust admitted negligence causative of the right facial palsy.
Following joint meetings of experts, the local Trust followed suit.
Both Trusts refused to admit causation in relation to the right sided hearing loss but otherwise admitted negligence causative of all Margerie’s other injuries.
To her great credit, Margerie agreed a stay in the proceedings to let her undertake counselling, alongside re-constructive surgery, both of which were of great benefit.
The case ultimately settled, at mediation, in December 2006, with the Court due to list the case for a final hearing in January 2007.
At mediation, both Defendant Trusts gave Margerie their unreserved apologies for the terrible errors that arose in her treatment.
Nick Fairweather commented on the case as follows:-
“I am pleased that this case has ultimately been resolved satisfactorily for Margerie. It was a complicated case involving multiple heads of negligence, across different specialisms, with complicated causation attached. We were served well by our medical experts.
I have to say that I have seldom seen such a succession of negligent acts on the part of two separate Trusts. The consequences for Margerie have been appalling. She was just 23 when she first suffered hearing loss and 26 when the facial palsy first took hold. She has shown great courage and fortitude in dealing with the effects of the negligence and in taking on the Trusts through legal proceedings. Happily, she has a very supportive family and, whilst no amount of money can ever adequately compensate her for what she has been through, the settlement now achieved does mean that she can put money aside and start building a secure future for her and her family.”