Waldrons' Medical Negligence Department recover compensation for widow of Worcester woman

Thursday 3rd September 2020

Waldrons’ Medical Negligence team have recently helped the widow of a Worcester woman recover compensation, after negligent medical treatment led to her passing away. The family were helped to recover £115,000, and were able to secure an explanation of what had gone wrong in her treatment. The family had been turned away by other solicitors, before Waldrons Solicitors agreed to take their case on and secure the result they wanted.

What happened?

The lady, Ms R, underwent urological surgery at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch in 2014. The surgery was to treat a large kidney stone that had formed in her right kidney. Ms R was otherwise fit and healthy. During the surgery, a guidewire and needle were inserted too far and tore her duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The hole in the duodenum wasn’t picked up until two days after surgery, by which time a further operation was needed.

Unfortunately, Ms R experienced problems after the surgery and needed extended stays in ICU. Further operations were performed, but sadly Ms R didn’t improve and passed away eight months after the first operation. Ms R was just 53 years old when she died, and had been the main income-provider for her family. Her family lodged a complaint with the hospital about the treatment provided to her. They were concerned after she had gone into hospital in a relatively healthy condition, only to pass away within just a few months of having surgery.

What did the trust say in response to the family’s complaint?

The Trust investigated what had happened, and drafted a ‘Serious Incident Investigation Report’. The report found that there had been some communication problems within the Trust, although the Trust said that there was no negligent delay in picking up the damage to the duodenum. The damage itself was said to be a ‘recognised complication’ of the surgery, and the Trust reported that the operation had been conducted appropriately, and that the general treatment and care was appropriate and timely. The family sought legal advice, and instructed solicitors to investigate.

How did the legal process work?

Before instructing Waldrons, Ms R’s widow (Mr H) had instructed another firm to investigate what had happened. That firm obtained several reports from medical experts, and after holding a conference with a barrister had advised Mr H that they could not identify any negligence in the treatment provided to Ms R.

Mr H then instructed Waldrons Solicitors. We reviewed the previous firm’s papers, and thought that there were a number of unanswered questions which needed to be put to the Trust. After we carried out further investigations, we thought there was enough evidence to present a case to the Trust. The experts agreed that there was a case to answer for damaging the duodenum, and for failing to identify the damage sooner.

A Letter of Claim was sent to the Trust, setting out why we thought the treatment was negligent. Despite initially denying liability, some admissions were later made by the Trust, and settlement negotiations were started.

What was the end result?

After a short period of negotiations, settlement was reached for £115,000. The sum helped Mr H cope financially, after the family had been left without Ms R’s income. The family were pleased to have been able to carry out a more through explanation of what had happened to Ms R, and the claims process gave them some peace of mind to know that the concerns they had over the treatment of Ms R were justified. After the case, the family said:

‘We would like to express a big thank you to Joseph for all his hard work and the friendly, sympathetic way our case was handled. The whole process went smoothly and we were kept updated on the progress along the way, to the final successful conclusion by Joseph. Thank you again to Joseph and the team at Waldrons.’

If you are concerned about the treatment provided to you or your family, please click here to contact the Medical Negligence team at Waldrons Solicitors.