30th April 2020 – Our client, Mrs X, is a long term sufferer with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and has been wheelchair bound for many years. Despite this, she managed to achieve a very full life with her husband and family.
Given this background, it was particularly cruel that, during July 2012, when admitted to hospital temporarily, she was not properly nursed and, in consequence, developed the most severe sacral pressure sores imaginable (Grade 3 and 4).
This had far reaching and lasting consequences for Mrs X.
Sadly, her husband died, soon after she suffered the pressure sores. This effectively prevented her from moving home and so she spent a number of years in nursing and care homes. During this time, her son and his family went to great lengths to move from their own home into the family home where Mrs X resided. In order for her to move home to join them there it was necessary to not only build an extension onto the side of the home, as an annexe for her to live in, but to create a large basement area within the annex for the carer and support workers she would need to tend to her pressure sores when she moved home.
The Defendant Trust responsible for the hospital admitted negligently having caused the pressure sores under the Pre – Action Protocol.
Thereafter the case was beset with difficulties.
The Trust refused to accept that it was possible for Mrs X to move home, so we had to argue the issue before the Court with the Judge, thankfully, finding in our favour.
Then, when funds were needed to pay for Mrs X’s share of the annexe (to provide the basement) we had to apply to the Court for an interim payment for that purpose. Again this met with resistance from the Trust but the application was successful.
Further interim payments had to be made to cover the case management and provision of support workers needed when Mrs X moved home.
The second application was resisted until the day of the hearing. Happily, however, further provision was then agreed so that Mrs X was finally able to move home into the annex that had been prepared for her in July 2019.
The third interim payment application was needed for the further funding to allow her to remain at home. This was ultimately agreed in the early part of this year.
Liability for having caused these pressure sores was always admitted within the proceedings with judgement entered for the assessment of damages.
Throughout, however, the Defendant argued that the pressure sores had not created a markedly increased need for care and other provision. The parties were a huge distance apart, accordingly, in their valuations of the case, throughout the proceedings as experts were instructed and reinstructed across the specialisms of neurology, plastic surgery, care with case management and accommodation.
The case was listed for a contested trial on the assessment of damages in March of this year.
Shortly beforehand, a Round Table Meeting took place, at a venue close to Mrs X’s home.
Ultimately, after a great deal of negotiation, the case settled in the sum of 1.9M.
This amount will allow Mrs X to remain at home, surrounded by her family, friends, community and carers, in comfort and safety, for the remainder of her life.
Nick Fairweather, who had conducted this case, commented as follows:-
“This was a very difficult, demanding case, at every turn, which required a great deal of resilience and determination on the part of Mrs X and her family, to ensure that she was properly compensated for the wholly unnecessary suffering that she endured. One of the lovely things about this job is getting to meet truly remarkable and inspirational people and Mrs X certainly falls into that category. It is a profound tragedy that, having done so much to overcome her disabilities, throughout her life, she was then struck down in this way. Thankfully, drawing on all the tenacity and perseverance she has employed throughout her life, she managed to fight on against the Trust to force them to make proper provision for her for the rest of her life. It has been a humbling privilege to represent her and I wish her and her family all the very best for the future”.
Mrs X / her son commented:- “I want to thank Nick and all his team at Fairweathers for all their hard work, kindness and dedication in fighting so hard for me over so many years, working with my family, to ultimately get me justice. This has meant instead of being stuck in a nursing home I am living back in my own home in a wonderful new Annex surrounded by my family and can stay here for the rest of my life”.