£65,000 for widow whose late husband died shortly after being discharged from hospital

Our client, Mrs J, came to us after her husband died in November 2010 shortly after being discharged from Eastbourne District General Hospital.  He had gone to hospital after a bad fall and the imaging identified compression fractures at T6 and T11 which the doctors thought were old.  There was also internal bleeding and regrettably our client’s husband was discharged from hospital with an undiagnosed intra-thoracic haemorrhage and he subsequently died at home.

After investigating the facts a Letter of Claim was sent to the hospital alleging Mrs J’s husband should have remained in hospital in order to monitor his pain and to complete investigations.

The Hospital Trust accepted breach of duty and admitted that Mrs J’s husband would have survived because the intra-thoracic haemorrhage would have been diagnosed and been drained thus preventing death by internal bleeding.

Thereafter, the NHS Litigation Authority failed to conduct realistic settlement negotiations and it became necessary to issue Court Proceedings.  Judgment was entered against East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and their solicitors eventually agreed compensation in the sum of £65,000 some 230% higher than the Trust’s original offer.

Steve Evans, who had conduct of the claim, commented:

“The Trust deserves credit for admitting this claim and issuing an apology but sadly the NHS Litigation Authority and appointed solicitors dragged their heels over settlement which resulted in our client waiting years for her compensation.  Had the NHS Litigation Authority been more realistic there would have been no need to issue Court Proceedings and time and money would have been saved.

Mrs J was rewarded for her perseverance with appropriate compensation for her family and now can move on her with her life”.