Circumstances of accident
We acted on behalf of a widow and son in a medical negligence claim where doctors negligently carried out a procedure located at the patient’s abdomen. This led to several perforations to the patient’s bowel, and sadly, he died 8 days later of faecal peritonitis.
The family wished to pursue damages for the pain suffered by the patient for the period between the negligent procedure and his death along with damages for loss of society from the Health Board for their negligence.
How we helped our client
The Health Board denied liability for what happened. Even if they were found liable for the negligent procedure, their position was that the patient was already very unwell by the time of that procedure, that he would not have survived the hospital admission by that stage, and that he would have died in any event.
In terms of liability, we obtained an expert report from a doctor who concluded that had ultrasound imaging been undertaken, the procedure opted for by the patient’s treating doctor would have not taken place, as it would have been clear that the diagnosis was wrong.
We also had to obtain expert input on causation. We instructed several experts from different specialisms, all of whom concluded that the cause of death was from the bowel perforations, and importantly, that the patient would have survived the hospital admission and gone on to live for around five to seven years, despite some pre-existing comorbidities.
We raised Court proceedings against the Health Board at the Court of Session.
Ultimately, we managed to negotiate settlement of the family members’ claims for a six-figure sum in total.