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No Vehicle Insurance

Lanyon Bowdler recently represented a professional, who was in the process of moving to France to see out his retirement. This involved the occasional trip between North Wales and France, COVID-19 restrictions permitting, to finalise his plans.

As a law abiding citizen, he contacted his insurance broker and arranged for his insurance cover to be extended to allow him to drive in France when the need arose. During one of his trips to France, he was unable to return ‘home’ due to COVID-19.

Following discussions with his insurance broker, it was suggested he may be better off taking out a French insurance policy to cover the car that he planned to register over there when France became his permanent residence.

Knowing that he would still have to return to North Wales at some point, he carefully selected an insurer XXX, well known in the UK. He, like us, believed this to be a UK company when in fact the parent company of XXX is based in France.

His logic in using what he perceived to be a UK company was that it should make his journeys back to the UK smooth in terms of continuous motor insurance cover. This was discussed with the broker of XXX who confirmed this would be the case.

However, despite being sent a green card and a ‘certificat d’assurance’ when pinged by an ANPR and stopped by the police, the ‘computer said no (insurance)!’ He was therefore advised he was being prosecuted and summonsed to court.

No insurance offences are normally dealt with by way of 6 – 8 penalty points on the licence. This potentially created further issues as he had 6 penalty points already on his licence for two low level speeding offences.

He knew if convicted, he would in all likelihood lose his driving licence by being disqualified for a period of at least six months as a ‘totter’. The ban would not only apply to England and Wales, but also France under reciprocal arrangements.

Our specialist motoring offence lawyer was recommended to the client and agreed to represent him. The police were adamant he was not insured. XXX insurers and their broker ignored correspondence and effectively abandoned him. The client was considering pleading guilty to just get things over and done with.

To our lawyer, just accepting his fate did not seem fair. A number of representations were made to the prosecution which fell on deaf ears. No Insurance is normally a strict liability offence - you either have insurance or you do not.

As the client had faith in us, we stuck to our guns. Finally, on the morning of the second trial, common sense prevailed as the prosecutor looked at the evidence we had put together and said “I agree he seems to be insured!”.

The case was formally discontinued by the court and our client will now be able to recover some of the costs he incurred. Most importantly for him, he can now retire on his terms, instead of waiting for at least six months for his driving disqualification to be up.

Six Figure Settlement Received within One Year

We were instructed by AW in late December 2020, having lost his wife suddenly that February. Liability was admitted in September 2021 and full and final settlement agreed in early January 2022. This is a true example of working collaboratively with the NHS Resolution to reach timely settlement and should be replicated where possible.


SW, aged 74, attended A&E at Walsall Manor Hospital having suffered a fall at home. She was diagnosed with a small subdural haematoma and for conservative treatment. Discharge was being planned when unfortunately blood-thinning medication was prescribed despite being contraindicated. This led to an exacerbation of her bleed and a clinical deterioration. Further, multiple failures in the nursing care led to SW contracting MRSA via her cannula site. There was a delay in diagnosis and treatment leading to sepsis, liver failure and ultimately SW’s death, after 47 days in hospital.

The Claim

At the point of instruction there had already been extensive communication between the Trust and the family, two investigations into the care provided and an Inquest. The Trust’s investigations identified significant failures in the deceased’s care and the inquest concluded that there were missed opportunities which exacerbated SW’s condition and contributed to her death.

An early Letter of Notification was sent by Laura Weir, associate solicitor in February 2021 which catalogued the failures identified by the Trust. Full admissions was received in September 2021, with an apology letter from the Interim Chief Executive of the Trust.

Quantum investigations were then undertaken and a without prejudice Schedule of Loss served by the claimant to aid negotiations.

Both sides were receptive to negotiations and sensible offers were exchanged before settlement was achieved.


The family have made the following statement reflecting on the case:

“From our very first contact with Landon Bowdler we were impressed with their professionalism. Our case was assigned to Laura Weir who kept in regular contact with us as the case progressed. She was extremely efficient and answered any queries we had immediately. We would like to thank Laura and her team for their help and for showing understanding and empathy during what has been a very upsetting time for us.”

Laura Weir, associate solicitor representing the family stated:

“Whilst the pain of losing SW in this way remains, AW and his family are pleased that the claim was handled sensitively by the NHSR and hope that this settlement provides them with some closure. It has been a pleasure acting for AW and his family.”

Footpath Diversion Means No Need to ‘Moooooove’

Lanyon Bowdler was contacted by an NFU member with a view to diverting a footpath in Shropshire. The footpath was in an unfortunate location, immediately adjacent to a large cattle shed and also very close to a site, behind which was earmarked for an additional cattle shed of the same size.

It was necessary for the two sheds to be parallel to maximise the benefit. There had also been instances of members of the public disturbing the cattle. The NFU member considered that it would be better for the footpath to be diverted, both from a health and safety perspective for members of the public using the footpath, but also, and a crucial point for the NFU member, for the long term sustainability of the farm (where the proposed development might otherwise have been stifled by the location of the footpath).

Lanyon Bowdler worked with the NFU member and submitted the application to ensure that the footpath was diverted away from the farm buildings and the main yard. It was then necessary to liaise with the council’s public rights of way team and ensure that the footpath was diverted under 119 of the Highways Act 1980 and also under section 53A (2) of the Wildlife Countryside Act 1981.

A successful result was achieved in a short time, and the exact diversion modification requested within the application was granted. The NFU member was delighted and the additional barn is now in place, looking fabulous, with lots of happy farmyard residents!

Successful Claim for Family after Father Dies in Road Traffic Accident

SW aged 32 years died in a road traffic accident. Liability was admitted following an initial defence of engine over-run and acquittal of the defendant in the Crown Court. Issues in this case were complex and it needed a careful analysis of the police evidence including expert accident reconstruction evidence. A claim was brought on behalf of the widow, two very young daughters, parents and sister. SW owned a second-hand car sales business but had no historical accounts. Accountancy expert evidence which considered growth of business and projected income was worked up by us. Services report from an OT regarding child care and other services of the deceased were obtained. The case settled at time just before discount rate reviewed which added responsibility. Proceedings were issued and a Defence and Counter Schedule served. A settlement was achieved at the Joint Settlement Meeting (JSM) and approved by the court. Master Davison was very complimentary on the amount recovered.

This matter was of utmost importance to the claimants as the deceased was the sole breadwinner. Consequently, in the absence of a successful claim, the claimants (and their family) would have suffered severe financial hardship. The damages will be sufficient to provide financial security and to purchase a larger property.

Compensation Claim for Jet Ski Collision

The claimant was riding a jet ski when she was struck by another jet ski and sustained multi fragmentary open fractures to both legs with extensions to the knee joints themselves. The left had an 8.5cms segmental bone loss, which reflects approximately 20% of the total femoral length, and intra articular injury. This necessitated a plate fixation as a staged procedure with bone graft. The high energy injury to that leg resulted in an extensor lag of 20 degrees, which left the claimant with significant functional difficulties. The right leg had a definitive plate inserted to restore leg length and a patellofemoral joint replacement with underlying bone graft. The claimant was very restricted in her mobility.

Liability was denied on the basis that the claimant cut across the path of the defendant. Evidence suggested the defendant was driving too fast and failed to see the claimant. We obtain numerous witness statements from witnesses on the beach. Expert evidence had been obtained from a reconstruction engineer in respect of the material damage. The case was listed for a trial on liability only on 30 Jan 2017. Mediation took place at which no settlement was achieved.

Liability Admitted after Serious Head Injury

Lanyon Bowdler appears on the Headway solicitors approved list and is an APIL accredited brain injury specialist. The firm was instructed to act for the claimant who was involved in a road traffic accident at the age of 53 years and sustained a moderate to severe brain injury.

The claimant suffered a serious head injury including a fracture to his left frontal bone, contusions to both frontal lobes and both parietal lobes with bleeding in the right parietal area causing subdural haematomas. The claimant also suffered a pneumothorax and injury to right shoulder. As a result of his injuries, the claimant was forced to medically retire.

Liability was admitted but the defendant argued contributory negligence as the claimant, who was a pedestrian at the time of the accident, had crossed from a junction rather than using a footpath. Liability was negotiated on a 90/10 basis.

Severe Brain Damage after Being Deliberately Thrown from Moving Car

The claimant aged 40, was left severely brain damaged and requiring 24 hour double up lifelong care after being deliberately thrown from a moving car. The court ruled in 2014 at a trial of preliminary issue that the claimant was 40% to blame for the accident as he had deliberately jumped onto the bonnet of the moving car. Due to this finding and a 13 to 18 year reduced life expectancy, careful consideration was given with Deputy, Counsel, IFA, NHS and family as to how to provide adequate lifetime care costs and meet the 40% shortfall. At the time of the case, the claimant received NHS funding of £350K per annum. The defendant argued that the claimant's care needs would be met by the state and there would be no future care loss. They further argued that because of the shortfall that the claimant had no choice but to accept state funding. If the claimant sought 60% of future care damages and continued with state care he was met with the double recovery argument. Independent financial advice was that his needs could be met for the longest period of time by a lump sum. This was an exceptionally complex and challenging case. Consideration was given to the lump sum payment with: 1 Peters Undertaking, 2 Deferred Peters Undertaking, 3 Restricted Purposes Fund for care repaid to defendant on death, 4 Reduced lump sum with no Peters Undertaking, 5 Reverse indemnity where the claimant carried on with state care but indemnified by the defendant if no or inadequate state funding. The case settled on basis of option 4 for a non disclosable amount.

Ambulance Involved in Head-on Collision

Lanyon Bowdler was instructed by the claimant who was involved in a road traffic accident. She was employed by medical services and was involved in transferring patients between hospitals and home. Whilst en route with a patient the ambulance was involved in a head on collision. The claimant was thrown around the rear of the ambulance as she had been tending to the patient just prior to the collision. As a result of the accident she sustained physical injuries together with a psychological injury as unfortunately, also related to the accident, the patient being transported died. In addition to supporting the claimant with her personal injury claim she had to be questioned by the police in relation to charges of manslaughter for the patient where it was alleged that she was not secured appropriately in the ambulance. We provided support at the police station with the criminal team.

Mrs S commented when asked what impressed you most about LB: “Friendly staff; clean & tidy; nothing seems to be any trouble to anyone”.

Falling Machinery Causes Accident at Work

Lanyon Bowdler was instructed to act by the claimant who was involved in an accident at work in January 2015. The claimant was assisting other colleagues in loading machinery onto a trailer. One of the pieces of the machinery was considered to be unstable in a vertical position and a suggestion was therefore made that it would be safer for the machinery to be laid down and placed onto two pallets. As the piece of machinery was being laid down to a horizontal position, the weight overcame all involved causing the machinery to fall. The claimant moved to get out of the way of the falling machinery and fell backwards putting out his left hand to save himself. As a result of the accident he sustained a fracture of the waist of the left scaphoid, which failed to heal until 14 months post accident, together with neurological pain and sensory disturbance referred to as a pain syndrome together with a psychological injury.

Mr R commented: “I would like to add that I very much appreciated having a designated person to handle my case who was readily available to explain the legal jargon and processes and support me through a difficult time”.

Vehicle Hit by Detached Trailer

The claimant was involved in a road traffic accident. The defendant was driving a vehicle in the opposite direction and towing a trailer when the trailer became detached from the vehicle and crossed in to the claimant’s path, hitting his vehicle head on. The claimant sustained multiple serious orthopaedic injuries, damaged hearing, vestibular impairment and psychological sequelae.

It was the claimant’s case that the causes of the collision were the significant overloading of the trailer (denied), the fracture of the ball of the towing hitch (admitted but liability denied as a latent defect), and the failure to properly secure the breakaway cable (denied). Detailed liability enquiries were required to consider the state of the ball and hitch and to also consider whether the breakaway cable had been fitted and used correctly. A metallurgist was required to assist with the construction of the ball on the trailer together with an engineer to review the condition of the ball and hitch and the fitting of the cable. In addition statements were taken from all of the police officers involved in the accident to obtain information regarding the potential weight and overloading of the trailer and evidence from scene given that the claimant had no recollection of the events.

Motorcyclist in Road Traffic Accident Seeks Help with Claim

The claimant, who was a motorcyclist at the time of the accident, was involved in a road traffic accident in September 2018. The claimant was travelling along a major road when the defendant failed to stop at a give way sign and proceeded to drive into the side of the claimant knocking him off his motorcycle. The claimant sustained multiple injuries including a broken left ankle and toe; a compound fracture to his left femur; a broken left knee; a shattered pelvis; a dislocated left shoulder; torn ligaments of the left hip and a broken right collar bone. The claimant was unable to weight-bear and early dialogue with the defendant’s insurers enabled us to put in place a Case Manager to assist the claimant in arranging his discharge from hospital and ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. Arrangements were made for immediate physiotherapy and psychological treatment for both the claimant and his wife. Domestic assistance was organised and funded and a taxi account arranged to enable the claimant to be more independent. Arrangements for a driving assessment and a general interim payment to enable the claimant to purchase a new car have been made. Regular interim payments have also been released to cover lost earnings. The matter continues.

Misreading Information Causes Disqualification from Driving

Lanyon Bowdler represented a client, AB, who had received a court summons for speeding. Normally, this would be a straightforward matter and AB decided to complete the form himself and return it to the court.

However, AB had not read the form correctly. Because he already had nine live penalty points on his licence, he should have ticked the, ‘Guilty – I want to attend court’ option. Instead he ticked “Guilty – I do NOT want to attend court’.

The magistrates proceeded to deal with him in his absence and he was subsequently disqualified from driving in his absence for a period of six months, at which point he contacted the firm.

The first thing Lanyon Bowdler did was to lodge an appeal against the sentence. At the same time, the business was able to persuade the court to exercise their discretion to suspend AB’s driving disqualification pending the appeal.

When AB subsequently appeared before the court, Lanyon Bowdler successfully argued that a disqualification from driving would cause him and his family exceptional hardship meaning he is still able to drive today.

Early advice from a solicitor would have saved AB and his wife a great deal of stress.

Firm Goes Way Beyond Traditional Lawyer Role to Meet the Needs of Client

The residential property team in Hereford & Ludlow acted for ‘Mrs B’. Lanyon Bowdler’s private client department was originally instructed by Mrs B and her brother, following the death of their mother who had been a long standing client of the firm. They were instructed to deal with the estate which became drawn out and then became contentious because the brother felt disfavoured by the will, despite the division of assets being fairly equal.

Lanyon Bowdler was instructed to deal with the sale of the mother’s house and Mrs B’s purchase of another property. Although it seemed simple enough initially, there were several complicated issues with both sale and purchase. When the firm got to know the client, there were also other areas of her life and circumstances with which she needed help and advice.

Mrs B was separating from her husband and so the move was forced by both the death of her mother and the potential separation/divorce. It was clearly a very emotional time for her. Added to that, her relationship with her brother had been badly affected by the conflict over their mother’s estate and that was deeply upsetting for her. She wanted to bring that relationship back to good terms.

The residential department dealt with the house sale and purchase and then referred Mrs B to the family team to discuss financial settlement and divorce. The client was then referred to the private client team to make a new will.

A member of the residential team contacted the brother when his share of the sale proceeds was sent to him and explained that Mrs B would like to restore their relationship. They are now speaking again.

Having had the qualification and experience in other areas of law, Lanyon Bowdler was able to identify and help to resolve a range of issues for the client. The firm also went way beyond the traditional lawyer role to look after the needs of the client in a holistic way.

Settlement Following Delay in Treatment for Marfan Syndrome

A fatal claim by the widower on behalf of himself and three dependent children following the death of his wife of multi-organ failure from sepsis after undergoing emergency aortic root surgery, which would have been avoided if the hospital had acted upon guidelines when she presented 11 weeks earlier. Quasi admissions were made with regards to breach of duty during an Inquest and also in a Root Cause Analysis report prepared by the hospital but the defendant failed to make admissions in correspondence so supportive expert evidence was obtained from a consultant obstetrician and a cardiothoracic surgeon. We followed the protocol and the defendant made some admissions in relation to liability. The case was protectively issued and liability issues were finally agreed at the Costs and Case Management Conference (CCMC). We obtained a draft life expectancy report and a care needs report from a cardiologist experienced in treating patients with Marfan Syndrome and a Loss of Services report from a Care Expert. The deceased and her sons have Marfan Syndrome and we were therefore claiming for a larger services claim because of the extra care needs the boys would have received from their mother in respect of their condition. The defendant failed to serve any evidence with regard to Causation or Condition & Prognosis and only served a Loss of Services report. The defendant submitted a Part 36 offer on the 9 August 2018 which was followed with a Calderbank offer. Negotiations continued with the defendant and the case was settled soon after

Settlement received for delay of treatment claim

This was a claim brought under the Fatal Accidents Act and Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act by the widower of the deceased and his four dependent children following the death of his wife in 2008 of metastatic breast cancer. The claim arose out of failures by the breast clinic to carry out a core biopsy on presentation, causing a delay of 14 months to diagnose and treat her breast cancer. With appropriate care, the deceased would have survived with a normal life expectancy. Liability was denied until the defence but causation was disputed in its entirety throughout. Expert evidence was obtained from a breast surgeon, radiologist, histopathologist and an oncologist. A Care Expert was instructed to provide evidence of the loss of services claim. The issue of causation was fiercely fought with much reliance upon the relevant literature regarding metastatic spread and chances of survival. The case was set down for final hearing and settled at a joint settlement meeting shortly after experts’ meetings.

Hospital “Never Event” Led to Patient’s Premature Death

Lanyon Bowdler was instructed to investigate a potential claim arising from the death of a woman in her 70s following the misplacement of a nasogastric feeding tube in 2018. Our client was the woman’s daughter. The misplacement of the feeding tube meant that our client’s mother received unintentional feeding into her lung which led to her deterioration and tragic death.

Our client’s mother had been admitted to hospital in connection with pre-existing medical conditions. Unfortunately she also developed pneumonia whilst in hospital and her condition was frail. She became very unwell and the decision was made to insert a nasogastric feeding tube as she needed nutritional supplementation. There was a delay in placing the tube and when this was eventually placed, no chest x-ray was taken to confirm correct placement.

However, when feeding started through the NG tube, our client’s mother experienced significant chest pain and the feed was stopped. She then had a chest x-ray which confirmed that the NG tube had been placed in the left lung and needed urgent removal. Pursuant to its duty of candour, the hospital discussed the incident with our client and apologised for the error.

Unfortunately, as a result of the feed being delivered into the left lung, our client’s mother deteriorated needing transfer to intensive care. She sadly passed away approximately 24 hours later.

The defendant hospital trust carried out an internal investigation during which the nature of the incident was described as a “Never Event” (“Never Events” are serious incidents which are entirely preventable). Care and service delivery problems were also identified, including the failure to comply with relevant patient safety alerts. A significant element of this failure was a result of staff not having the appropriate skills and knowledge in the management of NG tube placement. There was also an inquest into the death. One of the causes of death listed was aspiration pneumonia.

In light of the serious nature of the incident, and the findings from the hospital trust’s own internal investigation and from the inquest, we wrote to the defendant hospital trust at an early stage to invite them to make full admissions of liability. The allegations of negligence related to the siting of the NG tube and the failure to verify correct placement before commencing the feed. As a result of these failings, our client’s mother received unintentional nasogastric feeding into her left lung which caused additional pain and suffering, aspiration pneumonia and respiratory deterioration which contributed to and accelerated her death.

The defendant responded to make full admissions of liability. An offer of settlement was made at the same time, which was accepted by our client. Of course, no award of compensation is ever enough to compensate a bereaved family for the loss of a loved one, but it is hoped that by bringing these issues to light and by raising awareness that future deaths will be prevented.

Compensation Following Delay In Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Appendicitis

Lanyon Bowdler helped C to claim compensation from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust following a delay in diagnosis and treatment of acute appendicitis.

C first developed symptoms whilst on holiday and visited her GP the following day. She had been suffering lower abdominal pain for the past two days which had not settled and had been feeling very feverish and unwell. Her GP examined her and diagnosed appendicitis. He referred her to hospital and wrote a letter for C to take with her, which outlined her symptoms and the GP’s diagnosis.

C arrived in hospital a few hours later. The diagnosis was likely appendicitis and she was admitted. C understood that she would need to have surgery very soon and that this would be keyhole surgery, so scarring would be minimal.

C’s blood results strongly indicated appendicitis and she had a raised temperature which continued to rise. The appendicitis was later confirmed on a scan but when C was finally taken for surgery this was approximately 41 hours after her admission.

Unfortunately, C’s appendix had perforated during her admission and she needed open abdominal surgery. Her appendix was highly inflamed and she had a severe infection. After the surgery, C had issues with wound healing and infection. Fortunately, C had a good prognosis.

Lanyon Bowdler’s Clinical Negligence team represented C in securing a settlement. One of the difficulties in this case was with the narrow time window between C’s initial presentation and surgery, however the fact that C had had symptoms for some time before her attendance at hospital was not fully appreciated by the hospital trust.

After receiving a very detailed letter outlining the failings in C’s care and the harm suffered as a result, the hospital trust made admissions of liability and issued an apology for the substandard care C received. The hospital trust admitted that there was a failure to perform surgery within a reasonable timeframe and before C’s appendix perforated.

The hospital trust made an initial settlement offer and after negotiations, Lanyon Bowdler was able to get the trust to increase on their offer to compensate C for some of her lost earnings as a result of not being able to work due to her prolonged recovery. This involved some complicated arguments as C was self-employed.

C was pleased with the settlement and by the hospital trust’s frank admissions and apology. C said there was “nothing” that Lanyon Bowdler could do to improve the service she received.

Six Figure Settlement for Family after Negligence Claim

In September 2020 Lanyon Bowdler successfully settled the case brought on behalf of the widow and infant son of the late Mr Z. Mr Z had died by suicide in 2017. He had a long history of mental health difficulties which he managed through admission to hospital when he felt most vulnerable and support within the community from the local mental health services. He was open about his difficulties and worked with his wife in times of stress to access the help he needed. In early 2017 his condition deteriorated; he sought support from the local mental health services, actively seeking the hospital admission that had previously helped. He was not provided with a voluntary admission and despite apparent escalation of his deteriorating mental health, including suicidal ideation and planning being communicated to the community mental health services at appointments his risk assessment was downgraded. He died shortly thereafter.

We brought a claim in negligence on behalf of his estate and for the loss of dependency on behalf of his wife and infant son recovering a six figure settlement for the family in respect of the loss of income and services he would have provided had he not died at such a young age. The case included attendance at the inquest to assist the family at this most difficult time. Whilst liability was not admitted the case was settled without the need to issue court proceedings.

Damages Recovered for Loss of Dependency

In October 2020 Lanyon Bowdler recovered damages for loss of dependency following the death by suicide of the claimant’s husband who died whilst a voluntary inpatient at the hospital psychiatric unit. He had been admitted to following a recurrent depressive episode. Despite being in what was hoped to be a safe hospital environment his condition deteriorated and he took his own life by fashioning a ligature to a piece of furniture in his room. He was able to do this despite apparent observations being undertaken in accordance with the regime put in place on his admission.

Lanyon Bowdler assisted the family at the inquest to obtain evidence to assist with the investigation into the standard of care that he received whilst an inpatient in the unit. Thereafter, bringing a claim on behalf of his widow against the trust.

This was a very difficult case for his widow to pursue. However, she wanted to get answers to the questions how and why her husband had died in what should have been a safe place for him.

Liability in the case was denied throughout. However, we were able to compromise the case on behalf of his widow without the need to issue proceedings.

Slip at Work due to Overgrown Moss

Lanyon Bowdler was instructed to act by the claimant who slipped at work due to overgrown moss on a blocked pathway. As a result of the accident the claimant sustained an injury to her shoulder which required surgical repair. The medical evidence advised that the claimant had also sustained exacerbation of pre-existing shoulder problems of five years. Whilst liability was admitted, the defendant insurers were not prepared to agree an appropriate level of damages and it was therefore necessary to issue court proceedings. Shortly after service and before a defence was filed, the case was concluded.

Injuries Sustained to Non Dominant Ring Finger

Lanyon Bowdler was instructed to act by the claimant who was involved in an accident at work. The claimant worked for a firm of solicitors and sustained injuries to her non dominant ring finger when using a ladder to access deeds. She was attempting to collapse the ladder and having pushed the centre up, the legs at the back of the ladder proceeded to swing back towards her trapping her finger between the two legs. As a result of the accident the claimant sustained a chipped bone and tendon damage to her finger which has required surgical intervention. In addition, she has experienced trigger thumb which has also required surgery and has been exacerbated as a result of the accident. The claimant remains with on-going symptoms of pain and functional issues. The claim was originally started in the portal process but we identified, in view of functional issues, that the value would exceed the upper limit and we made an application to the court to convert Part 8 proceedings to ensure the claimant is appropriately compensated

Claim for Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Karen was instructed by Mr H in August 2018 to represent him as the defendant in relation to a historic personal injury claim. The claimant in the case had served a claim for noise induced hearing loss and sought compensation against Mr H’s late father's business. Our client’s father ran a business in the 1990s but had since passed and his business had been wound down many years previous to presentation of the claim. Our client required legal advice on his options to deal with the claim and the position in relation to insurance. As the business had ceased trading many years previously he had no physical paperwork. We provided Mr H with advice with respect to appropriate valuation of the claim and were able to trace the relevant insurer and direct the claim accordingly.

Care Agency Contract Terminated and Father Receives Payment Direct

D was injured in a road traffic collision several years ago and his personal injury claim settled for several million pounds. The majority of D’s care had been carried out by his father but since the father was also D’s financial Deputy, he was not entitled to be paid for the care that he provided, even though D was capable of agreeing to this. Instead, D was forced to use his money to employ a professional care agency, who, in turn, employed the father, costing D an excessive amount of money.

The solicitors who had settled the personal injury claim did not have sufficient expertise in Court of Protection matters and had told D’s father it was too complicated to take to Court. D’s father was introduced to Lanyon Bowdler’s Court of Protection department, who took the case on and made a successful application for the care agency’s contract to be terminated and for D’s father to receive payment directly.

Lady Financially Abused by Son

J was a lady who was financially abused by her son, which resulted in his conviction and imprisonment for theft of £250,000 from his mother’s bank account. Lanyon Bowdler were recommended to J’s brother by the police.

J’s brother was concerned that J’s Will, made several years ago, left her estate entirely to her son, which was thought not to be in her best interests.

Lanyon Bowdler made an application for the Court to authorise a new Will for J. J’s son objected but the Court was satisfied that a new Will, which left J’s estate to other family members, was in her best interests.

Delay in Diagnosis of Bowel Cancer Leading to Shortened Life Expectancy

Lanyon Bowdler was instructed by Mrs G in November 2017 to investigate a potential claim against the Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust arising from the delay in diagnosis of bowel cancer. When Mrs G was eventually diagnosed, the cancer had spread to her liver.

Mrs G had attended her GP with abdominal pain and bowel related symptoms. Blood results also showed low iron levels. Her GP referred her for an urgent endoscopy. There was a query over whether she should also have a colonoscopy but this was not carried out at the time. When this was eventually carried out, Mrs G’s cancer was diagnosed soon after. She had surgery and then chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the treatment caused nerve damage to her feet, affecting her mobility. Sadly, despite treatment, the cancer progressed and Mrs G passed away in 2018 at the age of 64. Her husband continued with the case after her death.

Allegations of negligence raised against the Defendant Hospital Trust related to the failure to arrange an earlier colonoscopy and to review Mrs G’s previous blood tests. This resulted in her diagnosis being delayed by around a year. These allegations were based on failings that had been identified as part of an internal investigation carried out by the Hospital Trust. They admitted that there had been a negligent delay in diagnosis and that with earlier diagnosis, Mrs G’s life expectancy would have been increased by 12-18 months. It was also considered that with earlier diagnosis, the options for pain control and symptom relief would have been better, improving Mrs G’s quality of life.

Lanyon Bowdler was successful in achieving compensation for Mr G. The claim included losses sustained by Mrs G’s estate and also losses suffered by Mr G arising from Mrs G’s premature death.

Cases involving the loss of a loved one are very difficult, and especially so for the bereaved family. At Lanyon Bowdler, our team is particularly sensitive to the needs of bereaved clients and is adept at approaching these cases with compassion and empathy. Of course no award of compensation is ever enough to compensate a bereaved family for the loss of a loved one, but many families often experience financial hardship as a result of a death that is brought about by negligence, and in those cases, compensation can help to alleviate some of that financial burden.

Multi Million Pound Settlement Following Avoidable Birth Injury

In August 2020 Lanyon Bowdler obtained a lump sum in damages and periodical payments for life to cover care and case management for Claimant, Master XG in connection with the injuries he sustained at birth as a result of the hospital’s negligence. At the time of settlement, Master XG was aged eight years old and had been diagnosed with dystonic cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

The claim was brought on his behalf by his Mother, Miss XC, a dedicated, single mother, who lived with Master XG and her four other children. Due to the complexity of the medical issues involved, Lanyon Bowdler investigated the case over several years and was able to obtain and act for Master XG under legal aid funding.

The allegations related to the management of Master XG’s labour and delivery, namely that there was a failure to appreciate that he was a large baby and so proceed cautiously to a delivery by caesarean section when he presented in the breech position. As a result, Master XG suffered hypoxia and permanent brain damage in the minutes before his birth.

We initially assisted Miss XC by preparing a formal Letter of Complaint which was sent to the Defendant in August 2012. The Defendant responded in November 2012, but failed to make any admissions in terms of the negligence alleged.

In order to prove the case, we therefore obtained medical records and expert evidence from a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, a Consultant Neuro-radiologist, a Midwife Expert, a Paediatric Neurologist and a Consultant in Neonatal Medicine. This evidence supported the allegations that it should have been recognised by the clinicians that once the breech presentation had been identified, the plan to attempt a natural delivery was inappropriate and Miss XC should have been offered a caesarean section, which she would have accepted. The expert evidence stated that if Master XG had been delivered by caesarean section earlier, he would have avoided all injury. Following his delivery, Master XG required ventilation and oxygen therapy in NNU and he was not discharged from hospital until he was 51 days old.

A successful claim was also brought for Miss XC herself who blamed herself for not being able to deliver her son naturally. She received a separate sum of damages as a result of the psychological injuries that she sustained further to the trauma surrounding the birth.

We sent the Defendant a formal Letter of Claim setting out our allegations in May 2016. The Defendant responded in September 2017 and made full admissions of negligence in that the care provided to Master XG was substandard and this caused him to suffer a brain injury. The Trust also provided an open written apology.

Following the Defendant’s admissions, we obtained an interim payment on account of damages to provide much needed extra care and therapy for the Claimant and assistance for Miss XC. This included assisting the family to move to a larger property to meet the needs of the Claimant. Master XG has no sense of danger and his behaviour can be impulsive and unpredictable so he gained great benefit from being able to play in a secure garden with his siblings. He was also able to have therapies at home in a separate therapy room. We assisted Miss CG to instruct a Professional Deputy to manage Master XG’s property and financial affairs, as well as a specialist brain injury Case Manager to be responsible for overseeing and managing Master XG’s specialist care. We later also assisted Miss XC to recruit support workers to help with caring for Master XG on a daily basis.

In order to value the claim, we instructed a Neonatal Paediatrician to provide a report in regards to Master XG’s Condition and Prognosis. Master XG has significant health needs and will be dependent upon 24 hour care for the rest of his life. He is not likely to be able to obtain paid employment. He suffers with coordination difficulties, fatigue and is prone to falling over. He is unable to walk long distances and requires the use of a wheelchair outside for longer distances., He also suffers from epilepsy requiring medication and frequent medical review. He requires the input of a Clinical Psychologist, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, and Paediatrician for ongoing management and treatment.

The acting solicitor also took detailed witness statements from Miss XC and other key witnesses to demonstrate the circumstances of the delivery and later the extent of the care that Master XG required and the severity of his pain and suffering. It was also necessary to obtain expert evidence in regards to the potential costs for ongoing treatment and equipment, and we therefore instructed a Neurologist, Educational Psychologist, Accommodation Expert, Speech and Language Therapist, Care Expert, Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist. We undertook monthly reviews of the evidence available such as support worker notes, case manager notes and case plans, and conducted research into potentially suitable properties for the family. We also engaged the assistance of a senior barrister, James Rowley, from Byrom Street Chambers, Manchester.

The Joint Settlement Meeting took place during August 2020 during which the Defendant agreed to pay a lump sum in addition to periodical payments to be made for the remainder of Master XG’s life. The compensation will ensure that Master XG has consistent support and care throughout his life whilst maintaining his independence safely and maximising his opportunities to enjoy the best quality of life possible.

Although the medical negligence case has been finalised, Lanyon Bowdler continues to support the Claimant from our Court of Protection Department.

Claim following Hip Surgery

Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors acted for a claimant who brought a claim for damages for personal injuries and consequential loss arising from alleged clinical negligence. This was with respect to the treatment and advice the claimant received at The Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust whilst the claimant was under the care of her consultant with respect to her hip, including surgery.

The claimant’s consultant performed a periacetabular osteotomy. Periacetabular osteotomy involves performing several bone cuts and repositioning the bone at the end of the femur in the hip socket. Since the operation the claimant has suffered from serious disability. She could not walk any distance without discomfort and had to use a stick. She did very little gardening and struggled with housework and was in constant pain. She contacted us many years after the operation when she failed to have her questions adequately answered by the Trust and by then she thought she should never have had the operation.

The initial allegations of negligence summarised were as follows: -

1. Misdiagnosis of underlying symptoms;
2. Offering an operation to the claimant which she would say should not be performed on patients as old as she was and which carried a very high risk of complications;
3. Having recommended the operation to the claimant, failing to obtain properly informed consent;
4. Failing to offer alternative treatment;
5. Performing the periacetabular osteotomy.

The defendant initially argued that the claim was statute barred and brought out of time , but withdrew the limitation defence following representations from Lanyon Bowdler.

It was the claimant’s case that had she not had the operation her pre-operation symptoms (which were not major) would have continued until the age of about 60 and she would have had a total hip replacement which on the balance of probabilities would have been successful and would have left her pain free. She would then, about 10 years later, have undergone a revision hip replacement which would also have been successful and left her pain free.

As a result of the operation the claimant was significantly disabled. She continued to work but with difficulty and her ability to carry out normal household tasks greatly diminished. She would not be able to have a hip replacement operation because of the non-union of the pubis. The medical evidence obtained was that she was likely to be wheelchair bound later in life. This is something that would not have happened unless and until the second hip replacement had failed in 20 – 25 years time. The medical expert was of the view that she would need single level accommodation and that she would require significant care and attention. An Occupational Therapist visited the claimant’s property and stated that her present accommodation met neither her present nor her future needs. The claimant was described as a stoical individual

The main thrust of the claimants case was that she was not adequately consented. The case was strenuously defended throughout and listed for trial for four days at Birmingham District Registry.

This was an extremely complex case in relation to negligence and demonstrating that the negligence caused the injury. Periarticular osteotomy is a major operation, known to carry very significant risks of serious complications, and which is technically difficult to perform. Expert Orthopaedic Surgeons instructed by Lanyon Bowdler concluded that the claimant should have been warned that the success rate was likely to be low. It is a relatively rare operation carried out by few practitioners.

They also concluded that she was not properly consented. She was not apparently warned of the very high risk of complications including non-union and nerve damage (both of which she had). She was given an unrealistically high chance of improvement of pain in the hip.

With regard to causation, the defendant's own doctors carried out many investigations to attempt to identify the causes of the claimant's increased pain and disability. All accepted that they were a great deal worse than they were before the operation. Having carried out the investigations, the doctors concluded that the problems were the result of the surgery.

The defendant steadfastly refused to make any offers until weeks before trial. Following the rejection of three offers the Trust agreed to pay acceptable damages by way of an out of Court settlement to the claimant. With her damages the claimant was able to buy a bungalow making day to day living easier.

If you or a loved one have been left coming to terms with an injury following what you believe to be medical negligence following surgery. You are likely to be within your rights to make a surgical negligence claim for compensation, speak to our medical solicitors today,

Wrongful Birth Case

In August 2020 Lanyon Bowdler obtained a considerable six figure sum in damages for Claimants, Mr and Mrs XB in connection with a claim arising out of the wrongful birth of their twin daughters, A and E who tragically passed away aged only 8 and 16 months respectively.

The allegations were that there was a failure at 33 weeks pregnancy to advise the Claimants appropriately of the risk of their twin daughters being born significantly disabled following ultrasound scans which revealed abnormalities, namely that A’s head circumference was on the very low percentile scale.

Mrs XB was aware that the measurements were low and had sought reassurance from the doctors more than once which had been provided.

We obtained expert medical evidence that if the abnormalities had been identified as they should have been Mrs XB would have been referred for a detailed MRI scan which would have revealed that both twins would have been likely to have been born with serious neurological abnormalities and the Claimants would have been offered a late termination which they would have chosen in view of the circumstances.

The Claimants had already discussed between themselves the possibility of having a baby with neurological damage and had agreed that they did not wish to or feel able to bring up a severely mentally disabled child. However, as a result of the failings in identifying the discrepancy on the scans, Mrs XB gave birth to twin daughters who were both diagnosed with microcephaly within 3 days of their birth.

The little girls had extensive health needs and lived with pain and suffering every day. They required 24 hour care and both parents were unable to return to their work as planned leading to loss of earnings and financial strain. There was associated additional expenses as every attempt was made to alleviate their daughters’ suffering. There was a significant claim for the additional cost of care provided as a result of the twins’ injuries.

Tragically the twins each succumbed to their injuries and died. The parents had not been prepared for this and had to go through 2 separate funerals within a period of 6 months. Both of them sustained a psychiatric injury as a result of the impact of the negligence. We were able to claim damages for Mrs XB for her psychological injuries to include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

To prove the case, it was necessary for us to instruct experts Obstetrician and Neonatal Paediatrician. To prove losses we relied upon the evidence of a Consultant Psychiatrist, Care Expert and a Pension loss report.

We sent the Defendant a Letter of Claim in March 2018 which set out our formal allegations and invited the Defendant to commence their own investigations. The Defendant responded in October 2018 and made full admissions of negligence in that the hospital should have identified the areas of concern in the growth scans at 33 weeks gestation and provided the Claimants with the options available to them.

Court proceedings were issued on Mr and Mrs XB’s behalf as the Defendant failed to make reasonable offers of compensation. Thereafter, the parties agreed to proceed with a mediation in order to try and resolve matters prior to going to trial.

The acting solicitors took lengthy, detailed statements from the Claimant parents and other key witnesses to demonstrate the care required for their daughters due to the extent of their suffering and the impact on their lives and careers. The Defendant’s Solicitor commented in negotiations that these detailed statements supported by expert and documentary evidence had “made the difference” in negotiations.

The mediation took place in July 2020 during which the Defendant agreed to settle the claim for a sum sufficient to compensate for the additional care provided to the twins, loss of past and future earnings for Mrs XB, and compensation for her unnecessary pain and suffering involved with the delivery and her psychiatric injury to include money for future treatment and therapy.

Mr and Mrs XB each courageously read out their own personal statements at the mediation focusing on the impact of the negligence and the loss of their daughters upon their lives. The Defendant also provided Mr and Mrs B with a full and open apology and reassurance that lessons would be learned from their case which was much appreciated.

Since settling the claim, Mrs XB wrote to Lanyon Bowdler in order to express her thanks and said:

“…Every step of the way you have cared, you have listened, you have supported and you have fought for us. And you have done all this in the most professional and dignified manner. What you have given us as a family is hope. Hope that our future will be less full of pain and suffering...”

Stillbirth Should Have Been Avoided

In September 2019 Beth Heath, partner in Lanyon Bowdler’s specialist clinical negligence team settled a tragic case for C relating to the stillbirth of her son in January 2017 at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

C was a young mum and this was her second child.

In January 2017 C developed headaches and was complaining of reduced fetal movements. She went to her GP surgery where her blood pressure was high and she had protein in her urine. She also had general swelling on her body due to fluid retention. These are all symptoms of pre-eclampsia, a condition which can affect pregnant woman. Whilst most cases are mild, it can lead to serious complications for mother and baby if not promptly diagnosed, monitored and treated.

C was referred to the obstetric unit at the Princess Royal Hospital where she had some tests and was attached to a CTG to monitor fetal heartbeat. The CTG was (wrongly) deemed to have met the computer’s criteria for a normal trace, and C was discharged home with plan for an ultrasound scan in a few days time, and blood pressure review one week later.

The next day C deteriorated further and developed visual problems. She returned to the Princess Royal Hospital that morning but on arrival suffered an eclamptic fit: a rare but life threatening complication. Sadly, a fetal heartbeat could not be found and the stillbirth of C’s son was confirmed.

An investigation report highlighted a number of concerns in relation to the care provided to C, in particular, the failure to ascertain fetal well-being and the failure by staff to assess the CTG trace which was grossly abnormal. C’s delivery should have been expedited.

Based on the above, a Letter of Notification was sent to the defendant with Beth fighting for early admissions of negligence. A Letter of Response was received which admitted that but for their negligence the stillbirth would have been avoided.

We thereafter obtained expert evidence to assist with valuing the case and a settlement was agreed just over two years after Beth was first instructed. The average clinical negligence case takes three - four years, and often longer. Clinical negligence cases serve as a constant reminder for claimants about their loss or injuries. Therefore prompt settlement can assist in providing much needed closure.

This case forms part of the maternity scandal at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. Beth has successfully settled a number of cases from the maternity scandal and continues to act for many more involving stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and birth injuries.

Successful Claim Following Complications During Hysterectomy

Following abnormalities identified on a routine smear test, the claimant opted to undergo a hysterectomy. Her family was complete and she wanted to remove the risk of the abnormal changes progressing to cervical cancer. Unfortunately during the hysterectomy the surgeon damaged the claimant’s left ureter causing severe pain and urinary problems.

The claimant had to have a nephrostomy fitted followed by re-implantation surgery to repair the damage caused during the hysterectomy.

If, as a patient you are not happy with the care you have been provided with then you can make a formal complaint to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). The NHS has a duty of candour and must ensure they are open and transparent with people who use services. There is a requirement on the NHS to inform people when they have been harmed (physically or psychologically) as a result of the care or treatment they have received.

Despite the claimant making a formal complaint in this case, the defendant did not admit that any harm had been caused through negligence and instead insisted that the outcome was a known complication a hysterectomy. Whilst ureteric injury is a known complication of a hysterectomy it is important to point out that just because a known complication has arisen (that was listed on the consent form signed before surgery) doesn’t necessarily preclude a clinical negligence claim. Complications in surgery can occur through the negligence of the surgeon not using reasonable care and skill during the procedure; as was the case here.

Despite this initial response from the defendant, Beth Heath investigated the claim and swiftly brought the case to a successful conclusion.

Psychiatric Injury to Mother following Birth of Child with Life Changing Injuries

Initially Lanyon Bowdler were instructed in relation to a birth injury claim for N’s son. He suffers with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and global developmental delay. However, in the course of investigating her son’s claim, we identified that N herself also had a potential claim in her own right for the injuries she suffered during the traumatic birth.

Particularly traumatic births can have long-lasting mental effects on the mother, leading to psychiatric injuries. However, a lot of mothers are consumed with caring for their injured child and are trying to do the best they can in what are often very difficult circumstances. This means that their own health and well-being and the affect the birth has had on them comes at the very bottom of the list of priorities.

However, Beth is committed to fully investigating all cases; ensuring claimants are appropriately compensated for their injuries and importantly, not forgetting mothers in birth injury cases.

N’s child suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy as a result of the hospital’s negligent failings surrounding her delivery. As well as the life changing injuries to her son, N herself endured an unnecessary episiotomy requiring repair. She developed urinary retention resulting in a number of urinary tract infections. Whilst, fortunately, her physical symptoms resolved relatively quickly, N relived the frightening circumstances of the delivery, with her son’s injuries and daily struggles acting as a constant and permanent reminder as to what had happened. Expert evidence was obtained and N was diagnosed with a psychiatric injury.

The defendant admitted N’s son’s claim in full, however despite her claim being based on the same facts, the defendant denied N’s claim and proceeded to defend this. Many solicitors may have made the decision to not proceed with N’s claim at this stage, a small claim compared to the large cerebral palsy claim for her son.

However, Beth proceeded to fight on despite the continued robust denials and somewhat unreasonable stance taken by the defendant and successfully achieved a settlement of compensation for N in May 2019 in very difficult circumstances, when many would have failed.

Package Holiday Injury Claim

Miss G was injured whilst on holiday in Goa. The matter was a strongly disputed package holiday claim. Miss G was on holiday at a 3 star resort in Goa. On the first day of her holiday whilst exploring the hotel Miss G slipped and fell on steps down to the pool area. Liability was not admitted in this case, but the claimant’s case was that excess water was present on the steps with no signs warning that cleaning had just taken place.

Miss G slipped down approximately seven steps injuring her lower back, head, arms and legs. As the accident occurred on the first day of her holiday this severely limited her enjoyment for the remainder of the holiday and we were able to claim for loss of enjoyment of the holiday as part of the claim.

The holiday was booked as a package, in so far as the flight, hotel and transfers were purchased for one price together from the travel agent. It was therefore possible to pursue a claim under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. This enabled the claim to be brought in the English courts against the tour operator.

Throughout the case the tour operator disputed the claimant’s version of events and it was necessary to issue court proceedings in order to enter into sensible negotiations with them to settle the case. We were able to offer expert advice to Miss G throughout the case on how to proceed with a package holiday claim.

Miss G was very pleased with the outcome of the case commenting: “The quality of service and approachability of Louise Howard and her colleague…was always superb”.

Miss G was particularly pleased that where necessary Louise and her colleague took the time to explain the relevant law to her and how best to proceed with her case commenting: “Regardless of the positive outcome of the case, from start to end I have been more than happy with the service and cannot suggest ways to improve it.”

If you feel you may have ground to a make a claim for accident abroad compensation, then speak to our team, the Personal injury lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler have a huge amount of expertise at settling such claims

Spanish motorway accident injury claim

In April 2009, our clients were driving through Spain when a truck hit them from behind on the motorway. The vehicle hit and went over the crash barrier, rolling several times before coming to rest upside down.

One of our clients was able to crawl out whilst the other was trapped for up to an hour. Both suffered cuts and bruises, psychiatric injuries and soft tissue injuries to the shoulder, which caused pain and suffering for several years after the accident.

They were able to bring their claims in the English Court with the application of Spanish Law. They had to bring their claims within one year as there is a limitation period of one year in Spain.

A Spanish Lawyer was instructed to advise on the level of damages available under Spanish Law. They recovered £48,000.00 in damages, which is more than they would have been entitled to if English Law had been applied to the assessment of damages, and also more than if they had brought their claim in the Spanish Courts as in Spain, costs are not recoverable and these would have been deducted from their damages.

If you have suffered injury following an accident abroad, speak to the Personal Injury Solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler.

Amputation of left leg settles for just under £1million

A claimant from Telford, received just under £1 million in Amputation compensation following a terrible accident, after he was crushed and seriously injured, when a tipper truck toppled on to its side, trapping him against a pile of rubble on a Shifnal building site. He was flown by air ambulance to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham where he remained for several weeks.

As a result of the accident, the claimant suffered numerous injuries including a head injury and damage to his teeth. However, the most serious injury was to his left leg, which was so badly injured that a below the knee amputation was required.

Neil Lorimer, partner and personal injury specialist at Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors was instructed to pursue a claim on behalf of the claimant for compensation for his injuries. Neil comments, "The truck owner’s insurance company accepted that the accident had been caused through negligence and breaches of health and safety law. The accident has been a terrible ordeal for my client, I am delighted that we have been able to use our expertise to ensure he had interim payments during his recovery and has secured the compensation he deserved in a remarkably short time frame. We were able to settle the claim with the defendants in less than two years from the date of the accident, which is a massive achievement in a case of this size. We hope that the money will help to secure our client and his family’s future and also go someway to compensate him for his terrible ordeal."

The claimant comments "I would like to thank Neil Lorimer at Lanyon Bowdler. Using his expertise he secured me the financial support I needed during my recovery, which enabled me to buy a suitably adapted vehicle and a state of the art prosthesis. The speed of the final settlement is in no small amount due to his hard work and genuine passion to help. I get enormous satisfaction in seeing children enjoy sport, and am hoping to work with disabled and disadvantaged children as well.”

See BBC News - Jan 2007
and BBC Video Footage - Jan 2007

Successful Application for Contract to be Terminated

D was injured in a road traffic collision several years ago and his personal injury claim settled for several million pounds. The majority of D’s care had been carried out by his father, but since the father was also D’s financial Deputy, he was not entitled to be paid for the care that he provided, even though D was capable of agreeing to this.

Instead, D was forced to use his money to employ a professional care agency, who, in turn, employed the father, costing D an excessive amount of money.

The solicitors who had settled the personal injury claim did not have sufficient expertise in Court of Protection matters and had told D’s father it was too complicated to take to Court.

D’s father was introduced to Lanyon Bowdler’s Court of Protection department, who took the case on and made a successful application for the care agency’s contract to be terminated and for D’s father to receive payments directly.

Lady Lacking Capacity has Cash Withdrawn by Family Member

W was an elderly lady who lacked capacity to manage her financial affairs. She had been admitted to a care home following the death of her husband, when her niece discovered that a cousin had moved into W’s house, withdrawn cash from her account and had allegedly sold her furniture and car.

The cousin was also named as a beneficiary under W’s Will, made several years ago when she was starting to lose capacity.

We made an application to the Court, on behalf of the niece, for a new Will to be made. On the evidence that we provided, the Court was satisfied that the cousin’s behaviour was a factor that W would be likely to consider if she was able to do so.

It was not necessary to prove the actual fraud by the cousin; merely that he had taken advantage of a vulnerable person.

On that basis, the Court decided that a new Will, that excluded the cousin, would be in W’s best interests.

For matter such as caring for a loved one who now lacks mental capacity either through illness or following an injury, talk to the Court of Protection Solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler

Success in Overturning Disqualification from Driving

I recently represented a client, AB, who had received a court summons for speeding. Normally, this would be a straightforward matter and AB decided to complete the form himself and return it to the court.

However, AB had not read the form correctly. Because he already had nine live penalty points on his licence, he should have ticked the ‘Guilty – I want to attend court’ option. Instead he ticked “Guilty – I do NOT want to attend court’.

The Magistrates’ proceeded to deal with him in his absence and he was subsequently disqualified from driving in his absence for a period of six months, at which point he contacted me.

The first thing I did was to lodge an appeal against the sentence. At the same time, I was able to persuade the court to exercise their discretion to suspend AB’s driving disqualification pending the appeal.

When AB subsequently appeared before the Court, I successfully argued that a disqualification from driving would cause him and his family exceptional hardship meaning he is still able to drive today.

Early advice from a solicitor would have saved AB and his wife a great deal of stress.

For any motoring law query, please contact myself or one of the team on 0800 652 3371.

The expert Driving Offence Solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler can help get the best result if you are facing prosecution or disqualification. Talk to our team today

Testate Case Study

Claire acted on a will dispute claim on behalf of a widower, whose estranged wife had died leaving a Will giving the whole of her estate to her children from a previous relationship. We were able to obtain the sum of £60,000 for him from the estate.

Multi-Academy Trust

Solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler were pleased to be able to support the formation of Shropshire’s first primary school multi-academy trust.

The firm was chosen to provide legal services to the Severn Bridges Multi-Academy Trust, made up of three outstanding/good Ofsted-rated primary schools in Shrewsbury.

The trust launched in April 2017 and teaches over 1,000 children at Radbrook, Greenfields and Mount Pleasant primary schools.

For Acadamy conversion legal expertise for your school, speak to the specialist education lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler

Nothing Left to Partner

Claire acted for a claimant whose partner died, leaving his entire estate to his grandchildren. The claimant lived in a house belonging to her deceased partner, but she had helped to pay the mortgage on the property during the course of their long relationship. She had also paid for improvement works to be carried out. The claim was settled on the basis that 50% of the property was transferred to her, and her partner’s 50% share was held in trust so she could continue living in the property for the rest of her life. The half share in the house was estimated to be worth about £100,000.

To speak to a legal expert about a disputed will claim contact Lanyon Bowdler today.

Delay in Detection of Cervical Cancer

We settled a case arising out of the delay in diagnosis of cervical cancer in a young woman.

The consequences of what was a catalogue of errors were terrible for this young woman, who ended up having to have a radical hysterectomy at the age of 29. She has one young child but had been planning to expand her family. That opportunity was lost. Surrogacy was not an option. She entered the menopause at the age of 32. She has been left with bladder damage and lymphoedema. All could have been avoided.

In this case she was the victim of no less than three errors by three separate Trusts over a period of four years before the cervical cancer was diagnosed.

She regularly attended for smear tests. She was referred to a Consultant Gynaecologist following concerns on smear testing and underwent a colposcopy and biopsy in 2009. The Consultant failed to heed the advice of the Pathologist, suspicious of the findings of the biopsy and unhappy with the quality of sample, who recommended another biopsy.

He wrote to the claimant advising that the biopsy was normal. Had this Consultant carried out the further biopsy the condition would have been identified at the pre-malignant stage, and the claimant would have undergone treatment by way of diathermy loop excision of the transformation zone, with appropriate follow-up to ensure complete removal of the abnormal tissue.

Radical surgery would have been prevented and progression to invasive carcinoma would have been prevented. She continued to have symptoms, a further smear test in 2012 was misreported and a further opportunity was missed in 2013 by another Trust to carry out investigations warranted by her on going symptoms, which would have identified cervical cancer and treatment would have been commenced nine months earlier. In that situation fertility preserving surgery would have been possible.

After denials of breach of duty and causation, an admission was finally obtained and we were able to negotiate a settlement of her claim against all three Trusts for the injury and losses she had suffered.

Lanyon Bowdler's team are experts in cervical cancer delayed diagnosis claims. Speak to our team today if you have any questions.

Two Employer's Liability Claims

Louise Howard acted for a claimant who had two employer's liability claims arising out of accidents at work. The first accident caused a back injury where the client had degenerative change in any event. The second caused a moderate head injury where the client had previously suffered a number of head injuries with one severe head injury three years prior. Following the severe head injury the claimant had worked hard to put in place coping strategies and to his credit had managed to return to work, the further head injury at work on a vulnerable brain decompensated his ability to cope. The claimant was left with on going head injury symptoms and was unable to return to work.

Careful instruction of medical experts was required to separate out symptoms arising from the two accidents at work. The claimant's memory problems also presented difficulties in assessing the level of post traumatic amnesia and therefore confirming the level of head injury suffered. The matter was of great importance to the claimant as he was unable to return to his pre accident position, therefore unable to return to work and reliant on his partner for daily assistance.

If you feel you have an accident at work claim, contact the personal injury team at Lanyon Bowdler, will will be happy to help.

Claim for Farming Accident

Mr E was injured in accident at work. He was employed as a farm labourer living in a farmhouse on site and overseeing the day to day running of that farm. He was injured when bales of straw fell upon him from a stack of hay bales, pinning him against a large steel girder under the bales.

He suffered with a fracture to his femur in two places, initially undergoing an operation to pin the fracture shortly after the accident. He later required a further operation to remove the pins. He further suffered fractured ribs and a psychiatric injury. Mr E’s recovery was prolonged due to a pre-existing condition affecting his knees. He suffered with some restrictions in mobility in terms of his recovery, but the additional weight bearing on the non-injured leg accelerated the pre-existing condition in that knee, bringing forward a knee operation. The case required careful consideration with the medical experts of the impact of the injury on the pre-existing condition.

The Claimant also lost his home, as a property tied to his employment, as a result of the accident.

Whilst already past the normal age of retirement at the date of the accident, the Claimant had intended to continue working for as long as his health allowed. The accident cut this short which was a great loss to the Claimant having spent his entire life farming. Louise Howard was able to settle this matter for a sum that allowed the Claimant to pursue therapies to return him, as far as possible, to the position he was in prior to the accident and provide security in terms of accommodation for the future.

If you or a loved one have been injured at work, call the Accident at Work Solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler to discuss your situation and the chances of making a successful claim for compensation.

Victim of Abuse

We acted for a claimant who had been the victim of a crime, as they were abused.

On the first application to the Authority it was dismissed, as claims usually have to be filed with the Authority within two years of the date of the injury.

Our client was abused as a child and was not emotionally able to disclose the fact to anyone until many years later. Once the information was disclosed, we were able to assist in getting the Authority to agree to deal with the claim and obtained our client an award in excess of £15,000.00.

Personal Injury claims can take many forms and compensation for psychological damage as well as physical injury. Talk to our team if you feel you are due compensation.

Serious Brain Injury

Our client was awarded a financial package estimated by an IFA at £7.4 million, after he sustained a serious brain injury following a head on collision with a car travelling on the wrong side of the road.

Neil Lorimer said: “This is a huge award. It is to my knowledge the highest ever awarded in Shropshire and Mid Wales, but it has been carefully calculated to meet the claimant's extensive needs, now and for the rest of his life. The fund will be held and managed by the Court of Protection and will be used to meet those needs.”

The claimant has moved into a specially adapted home. He has been left with language, speech and cognitive difficulties. He also suffered multiple orthopaedic injuries which severely limit his walking distance. The injuries were so bad that he has been left needing 24 hour supervision for the rest of his life. However, he remains a passionate football supporter and enjoys following Shrewsbury Town and Manchester United.

Our client's mother said at the time: “This is wonderful – it hasn’t sunk in yet but it is far better than we expected. I don’t have to worry about him now if something were to happen to me, I know that he will receive the care he needs for the rest of his life. Mr Lorimer and his team have been fantastic and my family and I would like to give them a special thank you. I have been a client of Lanyon Bowdler since 1971 and I am treated like I am one of the family.”

Pensioner Awarded Compensation after Trip

Lanyon Bowdler successfully won a case for a pensioner from Oldham, who tripped when she stepped backwards and caught her ankle in an uncovered drainage hole.

She suffered soft tissue damage and bruising and was awarded compensation of almost £5,000 against the local authority. The council were found to be negligent because they had not carried out adequate inspections of the street to ensure there were no hazards present.

Lanyon Bowdler's Personal Injury Lawyers can help you claim compensation if you have suffered pain or injury because of an accident that was not your fault.

Mown Down Running Away from Assailants

We have acted for a claimant who was run over whilst running away from assailants.

The claimant sustained multiple injuries, one of which was a serious head injury.

This case had to be dealt with by way of a Hearing, in view of the seriousness of the injuries, and the final award made was just under £500,000. This included substantial awards for care and loss of earnings.

The Serious Injury Lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler help families where an innocent person has experienced life-changing injuries. Talk to our team today for a compassionate and expert ear.

Motor Accident - Claim Valued at £4m

The claimant, 24, was on his way home riding a motor bike, when he had an accident causing him to be catapulted into the undergrowth, where he was not found until the following morning by a jogger. He had sustained significant damage to his spinal cord resulting in tetraplegia.

This case was contested, and described by the defendants as one of the most complex cases in terms of injury and causation they had faced.

Dawn Humphries, an associate solicitor with Lanyon Bowdler achieved a successful outcome through mediation of the case, which was valued at over £4 million. The legal team were able to help Mr Dudley achieve his dream of buying a specially adapted vehicle to help him gain his independence

If you or a loved one have suffered injury following a Motorbike Accident, talk to the Serious Injury Lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler today

Mini Bus Accident Near Jaipur India

Neil Lorimer recovered substantial damages for three clients, injured in a minibus accident near Jaipur, India.

One of the clients suffered a fractured vertebrae in her spine. She commented “Can I add my heartfelt thanks to you and your team for the way you have pursued my accident claim and for obtaining an outcome that came as a wonderful surprise.”

Man Killed in Road Traffic Accident in Holland

Mr A was killed in a road traffic accident in Holland. He left a partner and two small children.

Lanyon Bowdler were successful in recovering £325,000.00 in damages.

Local Lawyer Concerns for Coach Safety

Neil Lorimer, a leading personal injury lawyer at local solicitors Lanyon Bowdler, is calling for tougher implementation of coach safety laws for passengers and operators alike.

On Friday 5 January 2007 at around 6.30am a coach carrying pupils from Kingsland Grange School for boys in Shrewsbury slid on ice and crashed; seriously injuring one of the teachers at the school. The teacher came out of his coma and thankfully made great progress, the passengers on the coach were wearing seatbelts.

This was preceded by another tragic coach crash, when the London-to-Aberdeen National Express overturned with tragic consequences.

Neil comments, “I was very distressed to read from the initial reports of the London crash that many of the passengers suffered appalling injuries and some were not wearing seat belts. Following a change in the law, coach operators must take reasonable steps, (such as a safety announcement or prominent sign at the seat), to notify passengers of the need to use seat belts. But if insufficient steps are taken or there is not a safety enforcement culture it’s pointless. Maybe there needs to be a sanction for coach operators if passengers are not belted up."

Neil, settled claims relating to a large number of deaths and casualties when 11 people, including six from Shropshire, were killed and 60 injured when their holiday coach careered off a French motorway in 1990. At that time it was not obligatory for seat belts to be fitted. Following this crash, Neil campaigned with others for seat belts to be fitted.

In 2004 new regulations were introduced which stated that any passenger over fourteen must wear a seat belt (if there is one provided). Since September 2006 this applies to all coaches (including minibuses) with more than eight passengers. However, currently regulations requiring children three years to thirteen years to use seat belts (or child restraints if they are available) have not been introduced and will be brought forward as soon as practicable. The regulations will not include any obligation for anyone to provide child restraints in these vehicles.

Neil continues, “I have spent many years dealing with the consequences of these tragic accidents. Reports state that there have been a number of amputees. These victims will have immediate and future needs with respect to loss of earnings, care and household assistance, transport, prosthetics, accommodation and special equipment. Money may help in meeting these needs but their lives will be changed for ever.”

Holidaymaker Contracted Food Poisoning in Jamacia

Ms B contracted food poisoning whilst on a package holiday in Jamaica.

Lanyon Bowdler pursued a claim against the UK tour operator and were successful in recovering £4,000 in compensation.

If you believe you have a food poisoning claim following an accident abroad speak to one of our Personal Injury Lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler

Highest Ever Award for Single Lower Limb Amputee

A 64 year old woman was awarded Amputation Compensation at trial of £1.43 million after she sustained a serious leg injury, requiring a through the knee amputation following a road traffic accident which occurred on 2 May 2007. This was the highest ever award for a single lower limb amputee.

The claimant was walking along a pavement when a vehicle being driven by the first defendant mounted the pavement, crushing her against a wall. The incident resulted in a through knee amputation which then caused phantom pain which woke her at night. She acquired a persistent desire to scratch “the foot”, lost her balance and had a tendency to fall. She suffered a severe degloving injury to the right leg with ligament injuries to the right knee, severe lacerations and tissue loss around both legs and a laceration to her forehead. The injuries left her with severe and unsightly scarring. Subsequently she was diagnosed with an Adjustment Disorder with symptoms of depression and anxiety but had a good prognosis.

Having been hospitalised for three months, upon discharge she was only able to mobilise with a wheelchair and adaptations were necessary to her rented accommodation. Seven months after the accident, she began using a prosthesis but had great difficulty in doing so with the one provided by the NHS. With reduced mobility, a prosthesis, wheelchair and pavement scooter were all required. A private prosthesis was then purchased with an interim payment.

With the injuries sustained, a return to paid employment or resumption of the claimants newly set up private psychotherapy practice was not possible. She received significant gratuitous assistance from her adult children and had to employ a case manager, driver/support worker, cleaner and gardener.

The Court award: £1.43 million.

The main issue between the parties was future care. Ageing and the additional burden of care required factoring in.

All items of past loss were agreed as follows:

Loss of earnings £27,500, travelling expenses £11,500, care £30,000 to include gratuitous care, case management and support worker, medical expenses £1,980, accommodation £3,875, aids and equipment £703.40, prosthesis costs £21,862, holiday costs £430. miscellaneous expenses £1,604. Interest amounted to £3,000.

General damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity were agreed at £90,000 plus interest of £3,600.

The Court awarded £58,590 for future loss of earnings. Future care amounted to £664,464. Future transport costs were agreed at £30,000. Future medical expenses were agreed at £5,514. Future prosthetic costs were agreed in the sum of £118,865. Future aid and equipment costs were conceded in full at £34,654. DIY and decorating was conceded in full at £1,459. The court awarded £285,882 for accommodation and £27,000 for future holiday costs, being the cost of extra support worker assistance whilst on holiday were agreed at £2,000 per annum. Future miscellaneous costs were agreed at £7,000.

Neil Lorimer of Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors acted in this case.

Delay in Treatment Causes Severe Vision Impairment in Teenager

Lanyon Bowdler acted for a minor in a clinical negligence claim against the Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust. The claim arose out of a delay in diagnosing and treating intracranial pressure caused by venous sinus thrombosis between August 2008 and December 2008. As a result the claimant suffered bilateral impairment of vision and a left divergent squint requiring surgery. She also required a lumbar peritoneal shunt which caused on-going symptoms of dizziness and fatigue.

The claimant was 16 years old at the time of the negligence and had just started an apprenticeship at a local nursery as a nursery nurse. Throughout year 11 at secondary school the claimant had complained of headaches with vomiting, tinnitus in one ear and diplopia. Initially her symptoms were treated as migraine.

A CT scan on 27 August 2008 was reported as normal. She continued to suffer with symptoms which became more severe and on 2 October 2008 she was referred to the Royal Eye Infirmary because, in addition to the headaches which had become more severe, her vision had deteriorated and the GP suspected benign intracranial hypertension. She was transferred to the Derriford Hospital Neurology Department and a further CT scan on 3 October 2008 demonstrated no change since the previous one and she was discharged home on 7 October.

She was seen again in the neurology clinic on 14 October and 11 November 2008. On 19 November she was re-admitted with further visual deterioration. An MRI scan on 27 November demonstrated superior sagittal venous sinus thrombosis and a lumbar drain was inserted though removed on 1 December. She remained very ill in hospital during this period and her vision deteriorated further. She did not undergo the insertion of a lumbar peritoneal shunt until 16 December 2008.

The xlaimant’s case was that with appropriate management by the Trust an MRI scan should have been performed by 5 October 2008 and this would have led to the diagnosis of a venous sinus thrombosis and raised intracranial pressure.

The defendant admitted that there was a failure to treat the claimant’s intra-cranial pressure effectively and on the balance of probabilities, if she had been treated appropriately, she would have had normal acuity with slightly reduced vision field on the right and very slightly reduced visual field on the left.

The claimant’s case was that with timely treatment with anticoagulation and acetazolamide this would have been sufficient to adequately reduce the intracranial pressure, and hospital admission would have been limited to less than three weeks.

The claimant would not have required insertion of a lumbar-peritoneal shunt and she would not have developed a squint. She would have had normal visual acuities, visual field, colour vision and quality of vision in her right eye, and normal visual acuities, slightly impaired visual field and mildly impaired colour vision and quality of vision in the left eye.

As such the claimant is restricted in terms of self-care, employment and many other aspects of daily living and requires on-going support.

The case was settled five days before the trial for £1 million. This was a global settlement and included compensation for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, care, aids and equipment and adaptations to property.

If you feel you have been treated negligently by your GP or another medical professional, contact our medical negligence lawyers to discuss your case.

Clinical Negligence Resulting in Paraplegia

Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors acted for a claimant who brought a claim for damages for personal injuries and consequential loss arising from alleged clinical negligence. This was with respect to the treatment and advice he received at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

The claimant was 73 years old at the time of the alleged negligence. He had a history of Type 2 Diabetes initially controlled by diet and then medication. In May 2007 he had a right total knee replacement as a result of his osteoarthritis. In June 2008 he was noted to have a right foot drop which required an ankle-foot orthotic and some mild weakness of hip flexion of the right hand side. An MRI scan of his spine in March 2008 was reported as showing evidence of atrophy or thinning of the spinal cord with associated myelomalacia (signal change in the cord) at T6/7 and T8/9. In spite of these health problems at the time of the alleged negligence, the claimant resided alone in privately rented accommodation. He walked with the aid of a stick but he was independently mobile within the home and able to self-care and drive. He was a socially active man particularly with his family and his church community.

The claimant had a history of lower urinary tract symptoms dating back to 1991 – 1992. In July 2007 he was reviewed and his lower urinary tract symptoms were noted to have worsened and the decision was made to proceed with a TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate). He was admitted to the Princess Royal Hospital in June 2008 to have a TURP. During his stay in hospital he developed symptoms of infection to include urinary retention, increased temperature and shaking. He was however discharged a few days later. Blood cultures confirmed that he was suffering from an infection requiring a particular type of antibiotic, Ertapenum. The infection, caused by bacterium, Morganella Morganii, developed untreated.

The claimant returned to the defendant’s hospital in early July 2008 with right sided pain and inability to walk and weight bear. He was prescribed Ertapenem, an effective treatment for Morganella Morganii but he remained on this treatment for only 7-10 days. He was then discharged with no diagnosis despite pain and loss of function. By the end of July 2008 he had to be taken into a Care Home as he was unable to live independently as a result of his lack of mobility.

The claimant was readmitted to the hospital in August 2008 and eventually diagnosed with vertebral osteomyelitis and discitis at L3 and L4 which caused Cauda Equina Syndrome and paraplegia and spincter disturbance. He remained in hospital until late January 2009 before he was discharged to his home and became dependant on a wheelchair and Local Authority care. He now suffers with a number of injuries and permanent disability as a result of the negligence.

Within their defence, the defendant made partial admissions and accepted that the claimant should not have been discharged from hospital without treatment with the right antibiotic for a six week period and that with appropriate treatment, the claimant would not have suffered any neurological injury. The amount of damages was disputed and the defendants indicated that they considered the case was worth £200,000 because of the claimant’s pre-existing injuries.

In August 2012, the claimant made a Part 36 offer of £1.2 million with no deduction for CRU (recoverable benefits). The defendant responded with a Part 36 offer of £200,000 less CRU. The claimant made a further Part 36 offer in November 2012 in the sum of £1.2 million net of CRU.

A five day trial was listed to commence on 2 February 2015 however the matter was settled at a Joint Settlement Meeting in December 2014 just before meeting with quantum experts. The global settlement was £1,175,000 which comprised of a lump sum of £550,000 and Periodical Payment Orders of £125,000 per annum.

Damages Awarded after Claimant Fell from Ladder

Our client was a 59, former Bridgnorth District Council employee, who recovered significant damages in an out of court settlement of his Serious Inury Claim following a battle with his former employers.

The claimant fractured his neck after falling from a ladder whilst spraying a wasp’s nest through a long lance and wearing a full beekeeper’s suit. His employment was terminated and he successfully claimed unfair dismissal.

He claimed that following an initial inspection of the nest; he had indicated to his employer that it was a two man job. He claimed the Council insisted he carry out the job, with the owner of the house footing the ladder, rather than a Council employee. Independent engineering experts agreed that a small access tower could have been used rather than a ladder. No such tower was provided and it was agreed it would have cost the Council less than £100 and taken the claimant less than five minutes to erect.

Unnecessary Hysterectomy Causing Permanent Pain and Disability

Summary: A 39 year old single mother was referred to a urogynaecologist in respect of symptoms of stress incontinence. The claimant was consequently referred for a total abdominal hysterectomy without exploring other options for her symptoms, or being told that a hysterectomy could worsen her urinary symptoms rather than alleviate them.

Background: The claimant was a single mother with four sons, the youngest of whom suffers from autism. In 2004 the claimant attended her GP complaining of urinary incontinence which had become progressively worse since the birth of her fourth child. She was subsequently referred to a urogynaecologist at the defendant Hospital who initially recommended a bladder drill and then arranged a hysterectomy.

The claimant underwent this procedure on 27 September 2004. During the operation injury was caused to the claimant’s bladder but it was not identified or repaired. She then suffered heavy incontinence following the operation for about four months, and eventually a vesico-vaginal fistula was diagnosed requiring fistula repair surgery via a mid-line laparotomy in February 2005.

The claimant subsequently developed matted small bowel and pelvic adhesions causing severe daily pain and disability. In addition she experienced acute bowel obstruction and recurrent sub-acute bowel obstruction with cramping, abdominal pain and swelling. The medical evidence stated that the claimant was at high risk of recurrent/persistence of this condition.

The claimant has undergone a significant number of intrusive and painful investigations and surgeries, involving 15 separate hospital admissions.

The claimant’s life is now focused on controlling and managing her pain and she has become dependent upon opiate painkillers and anti-sickness medication to control the nausea caused by her pain relieving medication. In addition to the above the claimant still continues to suffer from the symptoms of stress incontinence which have not yet been treated. She has suffered unnecessary abdominal scarring and she has suffered psychological injury as a result of the defendant’s negligence, notably a post-traumatic stress disorder at a level of significant symptoms for a period of 24 months with milder but still troublesome symptoms thereafter and on-going.

The expert medical evidence expressed the opinion that the claimant’s pain was never likely to significantly improve, although with appropriate pain management therapies her ability to cope with the pain may improve.

Allegations of Negligence: Advising and proceeding with a hysterectomy on 27 September 2004 when it was contra-indicated for the following reasons:

(i) At no time was an adequate menstrual history taken from the claimant.
(ii) There was no investigation into the underlying cause of the claimant’s apparent menstrual problems. She was not asked to keep a menstrual diary so the severity of her problems could not be assessed. She was not offered a range of options as a safer and less risky alternative to a hysterectomy.
(iii) Hysterectomy was unlikely to be straightforward in the claimant’s case because of her previous caesarean section and she should have been advised about this.
(iv) There was a significant risk that surgery would make the claimant’s existing urinary incontinence worse.
(v) The vlaimant’s bladder was damaged during the course of the hysterectomy and the nature of the injury was not appreciated and repaired during the surgery.
(vi) There was a failure to identify the vesico-vaginal fistula caused during the hysterectomy before 25 January 2005, some four and a half months after the surgery.

Causation and Losses: In relation to causation, it was the claimant’s case that she should have been properly advised about the risks and benefits of hysterectomy surgery and of the safer alternatives. If she had been so advised she would not have proceeded with the operation. If the hysterectomy had not been performed then the bladder would not have been injured and the fistula would not have occurred and she would not have required an operation to repair. If the fistula had been diagnosed earlier a more minor repair could have been performed and not resulted in the major bowel adhesions which have caused the claimant’s permanent disability and pain.

Special Damages: The claimant had a considerable claim for both past and future care. As a result of her injuries, she was unable to provide the same level of care to her youngest son and the Local Authority granted a Direct Payments Order to be paid to a close friend and neighbour, who provided care to the claimant’s son including overnight respite care. But for the injuries the claimant was likely to have been involved in the care of her younger son for most of the rest of her life. Consequently, a claim was included for the future care for the claimant’s son which she was unable to provide him with. Other heads of damage included case management costs, aids and equipment, pain management therapies and cognitive behaviour therapies, past and future travel and transport costs, future gardening/DIY costs and miscellaneous expenses.

Settlement: Following service of proceedings in December 2007, the defendants made admissions in relation to both liability and causation as the claimant received a formal apology from the Trust. In 2009 the defendant made a Part 36 Offer in the sum of £75,000 which they quickly raised to £100,000. This was rejected by the claimant who was still obtaining medical evidence in order to value the claim. Expert evidence was obtained from a colorectal surgeon, a pain management consultant, a psychologist, a urologist, a gynaecologist and in respect of the claimant’s son’s future care needs, the claimant obtained an educational psychologist’s report and an opinion in relation to care for both the claimant and her son. After service of Expert evidence, the defendant’s made a further Part 36 Offer in the sum of £750,000. The claimant’s made a counter offer in the sum of £850,000 and the case was eventually settled for £800,000.

The case was settled on a global basis. The claimant’s solicitor assessed general damages at £90,000 and special damages at £710,000.

If you have suffered pain or a subject to ongoing health concerns due to the negligence of gynaecologist or another medical professional, call the clinical negligence team at Lanyon Bowdler for expert advice.

Compensation for Road Traffic Accident in Seville

Ms G was on holiday in Spain in July 2008 with her partner. On a day trip to Seville in a hired car their enjoyable holiday came to an abrupt end when another car drove into the rear of their vehicle. Ms G had been driving with her partner as front seat passenger. The vehicle left the road and came to rest in a ditch.

Ms G’s claim for damages, excluding costs, settled for £180,000.00.

She was delighted with the service and expertise of Lanyon Bowdler’s specialist team of 'accident abroad lawyers':

“I would like to thank Lanyon Bowdler for their tireless hard work in bringing my injury claim to a successful conclusion.

"I would have no qualms in unreservedly recommending Lanyon Bowdler to anyone who has had a motor vehicle accident abroad and who wishes to pursue a claim.”

Ms G sustained serious injuries including a complex open fracture to the left ankle, closed head injury, laceration and soft tissue injury to the left groin, neurological injury to the right thigh and psychological consequences. She also had considerable scarring.

She was taken by ambulance to hospital in Seville where she underwent an operation to put metalwork into her ankle, fully awake having been given an epidural. The experience was terrifying, the hospital staff did not speak English, and in addition Spanish hospitals expect family members to provide care including washing and basic personal care. Ms G’s partner had to spend at lot of time by her bedside, at the same time making arrangements for her to travel back to the UK.

Once back in the UK Ms G was completely bed bound and confined to the upper floor of her two storey home. Her partner worked full time, so he was unable to care for her, and her father moved in with the couple in order to help out with personal care and practical jobs like shopping and housework.

Unfortunately, after five months or so she was rushed into hospital because the wires in the ankle had worked their way through her skin. She underwent bone graft surgery, and had three further operations up to January 2009. She was wheelchair bound for a year, required physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

Ms G had a physically demanding job as a senior cabin crew member, and was unable to return to work until autumn 2009, which she managed with considerable difficulty, and only with extra assistance with household tasks to enable her to cope with her overall workload.

Ms G initially instructed a Spanish law firm then approached Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, who advised that she had a right to issue proceedings in the Court of England and Wales, meaning that the assessment of the appropriate amount of compensation would be dealt with according to English Law.

The case was then issued at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, and Lanyon Bowdler continued to obtain evidence to support Ms G’s claim, including expert orthopaedic and psychological evidence, witness statements, and reports and documentation in connection with her claim for lost earnings and a need for care and assistance. Evidence was also required from experts in Spanish law as to the principles of recoverability of damages, interest and legal costs under Spanish law.

The insurance company for the other driver obtained their own evidence, and the matter proceeded towards a trial date in summer 2014.

However, the parties were able to engage in a joint meeting and reached an agreement as to an amount of damages, without the need to have a full trial on this issue.

This was a great outcome for the client ensuring that she was adequately compensated for her pain and suffering and able to fund necessary treatments and care required as a result of her injuries.

Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

In January 1995 the deceased underwent surgery following the discovery of a large ovarian cyst. During the course of the operation the cyst ruptured, and some cells implanted in the abdominal wound. The contents of the cyst were later found to be malignant and consequently she died in April 1998 from a recurrence of ovarian cancer.

In an action brought in the High Court it was alleged that the consultant was negligent for failing to offer the deceased more radical surgery, namely a hysterectomy with a vertical incision, in view of the ultrasound findings on the size and content of the cyst and the significant risk of malignancy. The consultant chose to use a horizontal incision without a hysterectomy. It was also alleged that following receipt of an histology report the consultant treated the case as a borderline lesion rather than an established cancer. The consultant admitted negligence during the course of the High Court action.

The case settled for just short of half a million pounds. We assisted the claimant (the deceased husband) with national and local media coverage. He received a handwritten apology from the consultant which went a long way to helping the claimant achieve closure.

The medical negligence lawyers are renowned nationally for helping clients get justice and to secure compensation following an incidence of GP of clinical negligence, if you feel you may have a claim, talk in confidence to one of our specialist medical solicitors

Compensation for Passenger on Flight to Maldives

Lanyon Bowdler was successful in recovering £4,700.00 for Mrs R who was a passenger on a Thomson flight to the Maldives.

The luggage compartment above her head was faulty and fell on her causing an injury to her neck causing her pain and discomfort, ruining her holiday, and lasting for up to one year.

Out of Court Settlement after Newborn Baby Tragically Dies

Neil Lorimer settled a claim for two claimants whose newborn daughter tragically died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Claimant 1, the mother brought an action for funeral expenses and bereavement damages and for damages in respect of her daughter’s personal injuries arising from the negligence of the doctor who delivered her daughter. She also claimed damages for physical and psychiatric injuries and consequential losses. Claimant 2, the father, claimed for damages for psychiatric injury and consequential losses.

Claimant 1 was admitted to hospital for induction of labour. This was her first pregnancy and she had conceived with difficulty.

The Consultant elected to proceed to a trial of instrumental delivery in theatre after a 19 ½ hour labour and he used forceps to deliver the baby. She was born with significant bruising and swelling, with cuts to her face and ears together with multiple skull fractures and a massive brain injury. She was subsequently transferred to the Neonatal Unit where she died in her mother’s arms later that evening.

Claimant 1 suffered a second degree perineal tear which was repaired in layers.

The Post Mortem Report outlined serious birth injuries including a fractured skull. The conclusion of the Pathologist was that baby died due to:

1. (a) brain injury; secondary to (b) birth trauma; and
2. pulmonary haemorrhage (secondary to brain injury).

A police investigation took place and the Consultant was charged with gross negligence manslaughter. He was found not guilty however. The criminal standard of proof is “beyond reasonable doubt” and the jury also needed to be satisfied on that standard that there was “badness” in the sense of criminal conduct.

With regard to the civil proceedings the numerous allegations of negligence and that they caused the baby’s death were admitted by the Trust. Following negotiation the Trust agreed to pay damages by way of an out of Court settlement to both claimants. An apology was obtained for the clients together with an assurance that procedures would be reviewed. We supported the clients with matters arising from the criminal case, the Coroner and helped manage the intense media interest.

The Birth Injury Solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler have years of experience in helping parents to receive justice following traumatic and exceptionally challenging circumstances. Speak to our team today

Misdiagnosis of Breast Cancer

The claimant, a 55-year-old woman, received a lump sum of £445,000 after a GP failed to refer her to a breast surgeon in June 2001 and she was later found to have cancer which had spread. She underwent treatment but the cancer later recurred as metastases and she was given a life expectancy of approximately three years from the date of that diagnosis.

Claimant: Female: 46 years old at date of incident; 55 years old at time of settlement.

Clinical Negligence: In June 2001, the claimant (C), on the advice of a practice nurse, consulted the defendant GP (D) about her left breast. C had been complaining of pain in her left breast and itchiness around the nipple and the nurse had felt lumpiness in the area. D examined C's breast and recorded fibroadenotic breasts with no discreet lumps. He also reassured C and said that patients with breast cancer did not suffer from pain.

Approximately 15 months later, C consulted a different GP because she was concerned about her left breast. The GP arranged for an urgent referral to hospital. At hospital C was diagnosed as having a malignant lump and mammograms showed that there was a large tumour occupying most of the upper part of her left breast. Further investigations revealed that the cancer had spread and it was aggressive. The following month C underwent a mastectomy and a breast implant and then commenced chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

In May 2007, C was diagnosed as suffering from painful rib metastasis and was prescribed new drugs to treat the recurrence.

Cancer misdiagnosis is a particularly difficult issue to come to terms with when it affects you or a loved one, if you believe you have suffered becuase of the negligence of your GP or a consultant speak to our medical negligence team for help and guidance

Coach Crash on French Motorway

Neil Lorimer settled claims against a tyre manufacturer and the coach operator, relating to a large number of deaths and casualties when 11 people, including six from Shropshire, were killed and 60 injured, when their holiday coach careered off a French motorway.

They were killed when the double-decker coach crashed on the A6 motorway near Auxerre, about 80 miles south of Paris. The coach went out of control and veered into a ditch. The victims were with other tourists, coming home from the Costa Brava in Spain when a tyre burst.

Meningitis Case - £4m Awarded

The hospital concerned had already admitted responsibility for the client's condition, but had disputed the level of compensation.

At a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge MacDuff QC assessed the total compensation at £3,933,312.

The failed diagnosis led the claimant to suffer severe and irreversible brain damage leaving him with the mental age of an 18-month-old child and no real memory.

As a result he lives for "the here and now" and in spite of his condition is said to be an extremely contented and extremely loving young man.

Due to what was described as the client's mother's "extraordinary selflessness", he had reached the age of 22 before she approached Lanyon Bowdler at the firms Shrewsbury Office.

A specialist in personal injury and clinical negligence, said the case showed it was possible to gain compensation after many years.

At the age of three months the claimant was misdiagnosed with convulsions and a respiratory infection and prescribed penicillin. When his condition deteriorated he was referred to another hospital where the correct diagnosis of meningitis was made, but it was too late.

If you or a family member has suffered pain, illness or injury following a case of negligent misdiagnosis, our clinical negligence solicitors should be contacted at once to provide expert guidance.

Claimant Awarded Periodical Payments Under New Legislation

Neil Lorimer, partner in the personal injury department, successfully settled a claim for a claimant who suffered a very severe concussive closed head injury resulting in significant brain injury, fractures to his neck and a broken jaw following a road traffic accident.

The claimant, was travelling in his 1952 Series MM Morris Minor vehicle when he was hit head on by a vehicle travelling on the wrong side of the road. The driver of the other vehicle was uninsured. Due to the severity of the head injury, the claimant now requires 24 hour supervision. This is at present provided by his wife, with support from an enabler and Headway Shropshire.

Due to the fact that the defendant was uninsured, the claim was pursued via the Motor Insurers Bureau, an organisation set up to compensate the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced drivers. The MIB accepted the defendant drove his car negligently but argued that the claimant was partly to blame as he had not fitted his Morris Minor with seatbelts and should lose up to 25% of his damages.

We argued that it was not compulsory under the criminal law to fit seatbelts to a vehicle of that age, that it would affect its aesthetic quality and that the claimant was not acting unreasonably as many owners of such vehicles including enthusiasts, Magistrates and teachers have not fitted seatbelts. If a Court had found in favour of the defendant it would have had a massive impact on classic car owners.

The expert evidence showed that if seatbelts had been fitted it could well have significantly reduced the injuries. Settlement was reached with the Bureau, giving no discount for the seatbelt argument, for a lump sum of £450,000 and then periodical payments for the rest of the claimant's life starting at £25,000 per year and increasing to £45,000 in November 2011.

A new law giving the Court powers to award Periodical Payment Orders came into force on 1 April 2005 and as such this was one of the first cases to take advantage of these new powers.

This matter made front page news in the Shropshire Star newspaper. The claimants wife told reporters that she was very pleased with the outcome. She said: 'I can't praise Mr Lorimer enough and he has worked his socks off for us. Our lives have totally changed. My husband was a well respected businessman but had retired. To look at him now you would think he was the fittest man in the world but he can't be left on his own for more than an hour. He wants to be like he used to be.'

Neil Lorimer heads up our team of serious injury lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler and we have significant expertise in brain injury claims. Talk to one of our team if you or your family has been affected

Delay in Diagnosis of Tumour

C received £80,000 for the delay in diagnosis and treatment of a Schwannoma Tumour of the spine as a result of two sets of x-rays being reported negligently as normal in August and December 2000.

Clinical Negligence: In 2000, the claimant presented to his GP and thereafter to a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon with low back pain. He was referred for investigations, including x-rays in August and December 2000. Although the x-rays were reported by a Consultant Radiologist at the Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust; the August x-ray had been reported as part of the Radiologist’s NHS Practice whereas the December x-ray was reported privately. For this reason, it was necessary to issue proceedings against the first and second defendants.

On 3 April 2000, the claimant underwent an abdominal x-ray, which was reported has showing no abnormalities.

A lumbo-sacral spine x-ray was performed on 30 August 2000 and reported on behalf of the first defendant on 31 August 2000 as showing no significant abnormalities of the lumbar spine. It was the claimant’s case that abnormalities were shown and, in fact, the x-ray demonstrated a smaller and partly sclerotic right-sided pedicle at L1 and some posterior scalloping of the L1 vertebral body on the lateral view with an increased size of the foramen.

A further lumbar spine x-ray was performed on 19 December 2000 and reported by the second defendant as showing no abnormalities. It was the claimant’s case that, in fact, the x-ray demonstrated the same appearances as the x-ray reported on 31 August 2000.

It was alleged that if the x-rays had been correctly reported in 2000, the claimant would have referred for a scan, which would have led to the diagnosis of Schwannoma, by September or December 2000. Thereafter, the claimant would have undergone surgery to excise the tumour with the likely outcome of a full recover with no continuing sensory or urinary symptoms and headaches.

However, due to the negligent failure on the part of the first and second defendants, to diagnose the claimant’s condition in 2000, he continued to suffer low back pain until he eventually presented with Cauda Equina Syndrome in April 2004, resulting in the tumour finally being correctly diagnosed. During the period of 2000 to 2004, the claimant continued to experience back pain, which caused difficulties in both his personal and working life.

The tumour was surgically removed in 2004. Following the surgery, the claimant continued to suffer sexual impairment, urinary symptoms, severe headaches and back pain. It was the claimant’s case that the debilitating headaches he experienced following surgery were due to the presence of a pseudo meningocoele, which developed at the site of the large dumbbell Schwannoma tumour. The claimant alleged that this complication would not have occurred if the diagnosis had been made at the time the tumour was small and did not have such a major extra spinal component.

A split trial was ordered. Breach of duty and particularly the central issue of whether the Radiologist had acted negligently in August and/or December 2000 was to be dealt with alone. Breach of duty was strongly denied by the defendants. Causation was initially denied other than a partial admission that the claimant may have avoided the effects of conus compression with earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Following exchange of liability reports, an application was made to Court on behalf of the claimant for permission to instruct a second expert Radiologist to report on breach of duty, or in the alternative to limit the expert evidence of the defendants. The basis of the application was that both parties should be on an equal footing. The Judge gave permission for the claimant to rely on a second Radiologist expert on the basis that justice would not be done without the claimant being permitted a second expert. It was for the Court to determine what a reasonable body of expert opinion would say about the x-rays, and without a second expert, the claimant would be severely prejudiced.

The second Radiologist opinion was supportive of the claimant’s case and disclosed to the defendants. At the joint experts’ meeting, all four experts’ radiologist experts were in agreement as to the abnormalities, which could have been noted on the x-rays, although the defendants argued that this was for the benefit of hindsight.

The defendants were not willing to enter settlement negotiations. The claimant put forward a Part 36 Offer of £80,000, which was rejected. A counter offer was made that the defendants would bear their costs if the claimants were to discontinue the claim. This was rejected. On the final day before the Trial, the second defendant offered to accept the claimant’s initial Part 36 Offer of £80,000, together with the costs of proceedings against both defendants.

Injuries: The claimant suffered a delay in diagnosis of the Schwannoma tumour of his spine at the level of L1/2 such that the tumour continued to grow and he developed cauda equina syndrome.

Effects: The claimant suffered low back pain from 2000 to 2004 when the tumour was eventually diagnosed. The pain caused difficulties with both his personal and working life. Following surgery to remove the tumour in 2004, the claimant has continued to suffer from sexual impairment, urinary symptoms, severe headaches and back pain.

Breakdown of Damages: Estimated by the claimant’s solicitor. General damages £14,000. Past travel and medication £800. Past loss of earnings £1,600.00. Past DIY/gardening £1,600. Future care/DIY £16,000. Future loss of earnings £20,000. Interest £1,600.

Total Damages : £80,000
Type of award : Out of Court settlement (approved)
Settlement date : 5 June 2009
Court : Shrewsbury County Court
Age at injury : 30
Sex : Male

If you feel you have been treated negligently by your GP or another medical professional, contact our medical negligence lawyers to discuss your case.

Claimant Awarded £1m after Work Accident

Dawn Humphries, solicitor in the personal injury department recovered £1 million for a claimant who was seriously injured in an accident at work. The claimant, at the time of the accident, was installing lifts in a new building.

The lift cage was in place, but there were no doors fitted onto the lift. A switch was operated, which caused the lift to move up the shaft at speed and crush the claimants face between the lift cage and one of the floors of the building, causing him to fall 20 feet down the lift shaft.

The claimant suffered severe facial injuries including anterior fractured mandible, left zygomatic arch fracture, left zygomatic root fracture, right zygomatic fracture, left and right malar fractures, avulsed comminuted fracture of the maxilla, shattered nasal bones, facial lacerations, avulsed left eye, ruptured right globe of eye, bleeding from both ear canals and fractures of both scapulae. The claimant was left totally blind with significant hearing loss and residual shoulder disability.

The claimant required major reconstructive surgery and extensive rehabilitation. The claimant suffered complete loss of earnings capacity and required care with his everyday life. He required aids, equipment, housing modifications, specialised transport and further extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. The claimant was 24 years old at the date of the accident.

For more information on making a serious injury compensation claim, speak to one of the serious injury lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler

Delay in Diagnosis and Treatment of Eptopic Pregnancy

In July 2013, we obtained £29,000 compensation for a client from Telford who had suffered injury as a result of a delay in diagnosis and treatment of an ectopic pregnancy.

As a result of the delay in diagnosis and treatment, the ectopic pregnancy progressed causing rupture of the left fallopian tube. Our client subsequently required emergency surgery to remove her left fallopian tube and left ovary. She went on to develop an anxiety disorder as a result of her experience of the ruptured ectopic pregnancy, with excessive anxiety and worry. She has significant abdominal scarring.

The case was funded by a “No Win, No Fee” agreement supported by "After the Event Insurance". The case took just over two years from instructions to settlement.

We obtained our client’s medical records and took a detailed statement from her. The records were collated and analysed by our in-house nurses. We instructed an expert in the field of gynaecology to comment on the standard of care provided to her. We also instructed an expert in the field of plastic surgery to comment on treatment by way of cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of the abdominal scarring. Professional photographs were obtained of the abdominal scarring. Finally, we instructed an expert in the field of psychiatry who advised that our client had suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of the traumatic experience of the ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

The case was settled between the parties without the need for litigation through the Courts. Our client received compensation which included the following:

  • General damages for pain and suffering
  • Emergency admission to hospital and emergency surgery including; removal of her left fallopian tube and left ovary against a background of difficulties conceiving
  • Subsequent two week inpatient stay in hospital during the course of which she remained very unwell and required blood transfusions
  • Psychological impact of the traumatic admission to hospital including disturbed sleeping pattern, anxiety and stress
  • Abdominal scarring
  • Care and assistance provided to her and her son by her mother following her emergency surgery
  • Costs of private psychological treatment (cognitive behavioural therapy)
  • Costs of surgery in the private sector to improve the appearance of her abdominal scarring.

Every aspect of this case was considered carefully with our client in order to maximise the compensation obtained.

For more information on how our medical negligence lawyers might be of help to you, call today to speak with one of our team

Claim for Psychiatric Injuries

Mrs T received £125,000 compensation as a result of a coach crash in the French Alps which caused her husband to suffer a serious head injury.

Mrs T was not actually involved in the accident. She was at home in England at the time. This would have prevented her from bringing a claim under English Law.

However, under French Law, she was entitled to bring a claim for the detrimental effect of her husband’s injuries on her own life, including the effect on her career. As a result of her husband’s injuries, Mrs T was forced to abandon her career aspirations and suffered a significant loss of earnings.

Death after Operation to Treat Sweaty Hands

A 27 year old management accountant died following an operation to treat excessively sweaty hands.

Neil Lorimer, partner in the Lanyon Bowdler personal injury team, assisted the family in attending the inquest and pursuing a claim on behalf of the parents, to show that the circumstances surrounding her death were as a result of professional ineptitude.

The parents believed the doctors were not fit to practice and a complaint was also made to the GMC.

If you or a family member has suffered at the hands of a medical professional, due to an unforeseen complication or negligence then contact the clinical negligence lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler to discuss your situation

Damages Awarded After Loss of Sperm Samples

C received £20,000 for the failure to properly store and maintain samples of C’s sperm. As a result, C was unable to ever have children and suffered a psychiatric illness arising out of his complete loss of fertility.

Breach of Contract/ Breach of duty of Care: C was diagnosed with testicular cancer in around 1992 and one of C’s testicles was removed as part of his treatment. In 1995, he developed a more aggressive form of testicular cancer and C underwent the removal of his remaining testicle and thereafter received chemotherapy treatment.

C wanted to preserve his semen because of his desire to have a family in the future and as such entered an arrangement with the BUPA Roding Hospital. Under the terms of the agreement, samples of C’s semen were stored at the Embryology Laboratory at Newham General Hospital and C paid annual storage charges for this service. C was informed that his sample of sperm was of insufficient quality to be used for IVF treatment and the only available option would be the ICSI method.

In February 2002, C was informed that Newham General Hospital was withdrawing storage facilities and that all samples were transferred to D’s fertility centre. C did not receive any documentation from D and as such wrote to D explaining that he had not received an invoice for storage charges. He then received terms and conditions and an invoice from D which he duly paid. He did not receive further invoices and again wrote to D informing them of this.

In May 2008, C realised he had not received an invoice since November 2005 and wrote to D informing them of the same. He was informed that there was an error in the storage of his samples and as a result they were no longer viable. The samples had subsequently been discarded.

C alleged that D had a duty of care and had contracted to take reasonable care of the sperm and to ensure that the samples were effectively preserved and stored in such a way so that they remained viable and could be used in fertility procedures. It was alleged that in failing to preserve C’s samples, D had breached this contractual duty and the level of care provided had fallen below an acceptable standard.

Injury: As a result of the alleged breach of contract and breach of duty, C was no longer able to father any children and was permanently infertile. He developed a psychiatric illness arising out of the destruction of his prospects of having children and a claim was made on the basis of Jarvis v Swans Tours Limited [1973].

C also maintained that as a result of the psychiatric illness, he was unable to return to work as a self employed children’s illustrator following a long period of depression.

Prognosis: C was permanently infertile and lost the chance of fathering children at any point in the future.

The case was settled on a global basis prior to the issue of proceedings, the instruction of a psychiatrist or a detailed valuation of a potential loss of earnings claim. There was no particular breakdown of damages. It was agreed that damages would be paid by four monthly instalments of £5,000.

Kay Kelly of Lanyon Bowdler's Medical Negligence Solicitors team, secured for the claimant.

Total Damages: £20,000
Type of award: Out of court settlement
Date of Settlement: 6 November 2009
Age at injury/breach: 39 years
Sex: Male

Catastrophic Injuries in Road Accident

Neil Lorimer also acted in a legal first for, Mrs W when her partner suffered catastrophic injuries in a road accident from which he died some months later. Until his death, the Claimant and her husband lived together as man and wife and she was pregnant with their first child at the time of the accident. She gave birth shortly after her partner’s death.

Several years later she gave birth to the couple’s second child. With our help, she brought a claim for herself and the children. The case was complex, concerning the legal definition of a dependant, in the light of the second child being born years after her partner’s death.

Mrs W argued it would be discriminatory under the European Convention of Human Rights not to make an award to her second child. An out of court settlement was achieved, including an award for bereavement damages, even though the couple were not married.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident, resulting in injury or worse still, contact the serious injury lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler, we are here to support you through the most difficult of times.

Damage to Bile Duct During Laparoscopic Surgery

In July 2013, we obtained damages in the sum of £100,000 from a hospital trust for a 47 year old lady who suffered damage to her bile duct during laparoscopic surgery to remove her gall bladder.

The injury to the bile duct caused the claimant to develop acute jaundice and it was necessary for her to undergo open revisionary surgery from which she suffered a poor outcome.

The case was funded by a “No Win–No Fee” agreement supported by “After the Event” insurance. The case took 18 months from instructions to settlement.

The relevant medical records were obtained and to prove the case, it was necessary for us to instruct a Consultant Surgeon with a particular expertise in surgical gastroenterology. In addition we obtained an opinion from a Psychiatrist as our client had suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of her injuries. We also obtained professional photographs of her abdominal scarring as a result of the revision surgery.

The case was settled between the parties without it becoming necessary to issue Court proceedings.

The compensation included the following:

  • General damages for pain and suffering
  • Re-admission to hospital following a collapse on 3 August 2011
  • A longer rehabilitation period than originally anticipated and care provided by her husband
  • Intermittent pain suffered by the claimant in her upper abdomen caused by abdominal core weakness which becomes worse if she bends, reaches, stands or drives for too long
  • Excessive tiredness and lack of energy, common to patients who have undergone major revision surgery for bile duct injuries
  • Very poor cosmetic result from abdominal surgical scarring
  • As a result of the future risk of complications supervening as a result of the negligence, the claimant was likely to have a reduction in her life expectancy of nine years
  • The claimant suffered a moderate psychiatric adjustment disorder as a result of her injuries and was recommended to undergo a course of cognitive behavioural therapy

The client’s damages were maximised in this case by obtaining supportive evidence covering every element of her injuries and financial losses.

She also received a formal written apology from the Trust.

If you or a family member have been left with a debilitating condition following surgery that was supposed to improve your well-being, it is possible you are entitled to claim compensation for medical negligence. Speak to our surgical negligence solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler

Catastrophic Boiler Failure

Dawn Humphries, a solicitor specialising in accident at work cases, acted on behalf of a lady, her daughter and their family, at a week long inquest into the tragic death of her husband in March 2008.

The husband had been involved in a catastrophic boiler failure resulting in 85% burns, from which he subsequently died. The family welcomed the narrative verdict, setting out in detail the errors leading to his tragic death. They expressed thanks to their legal team and those involved in the thorough investigations.

If you have been affected by the loss of a loved one as a result of a fatal injury caused by the negligence or fault of others, then speak to the serious injury lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler, We assure you of compassionate and rigorous examination of your claim.

Award for Victim of RTA Involving Articulated Lorry

Miss P was injured in a road traffic accident when an articulated lorry merged into her lane, pushing her vehicle up on the pavement. Liability was admitted early on, but the case became more difficult when quantifying damages. The accident caused injuries of whiplash, damage to the right shoulder and nerve damage at the right elbow. At the time of the accident Miss P worked as a Behavioural Management Specialist, a role that required the use and teaching of restraint techniques. As a result of the injury she was unable to continue to carry out her role. Future loss of earnings therefore became a central point of the claim.

Proceedings were issued, however, Miss P found that she continued to suffer with pain and restricted movement to the shoulder. Further her grip in her right hand had been effected. Three years post accident it was necessary for Miss P to undergo a nerve decompression to the right elbow. Unfortunately recovery from the surgery was slow and Miss P developed complex regional pain syndrome. Miss P also suffered psychiatric injury as a result of the accident.

Through interim payments we enabled Miss P to undergo the necessary surgery and treatment to work towards recovery, however, she remained in a position where she would not be able to continue in her previous employment.

The Serious Injury Claim was settled at a joint settlement meeting and we achieved £308,000 for Miss P who was delighted with the award. Such a level of award allowed her to continue to explore future treatment and to reconsider her future career options and retraining

Compensation for Trapped Nerve Damage after Plate Insertion

In September 2012 we obtained damages in the sum of £100,000 from a hospital trust for a 64 year old man who suffered damage to his humerus following a fall from a tree. Surgery to repair the damage involved insertion of a plate. However, when it was inserted the plate trapped the radial nerve, causing him to suffer damage by way of loss of power and damaged pincer grip.

The relevant medical records were obtained and to prove the case we obtained expert medical evidence from an orthopaedic expert and a psychologist, as our client had suffered a psychological injury as a result of his injuries.

Our client had been a HGV Driver since the 1960s and even before then had always driven vehicles since he left school. After the injury he was no longer able to do this.

The case was settled between the parties without it becoming necessary to go to Court.

The compensation took into account the following:

  • General damages for pain and suffering
  • Loss of earnings
  • Care
  • Persistent pain suffered by the claimant; getting worse at night time and disturbing his sleep as well as a tingling sensation and numbness
  • Significant change to the claimant’s lifestyle; from an active lifestyle, including DIY, gardening and decorating to an indoor and restricted lifestyle, where he has also gained weight
  • The claimant suffered a psychological injury as a result

The client’s damages were maximised in this case by obtaining supportive evidence covering all losses and injuries sustained by the claimant, including loss of future earnings and psychological problems.

If you are in pain or have been left injured or worse off physically following a medical procedure in hospital, you could well be entitled to make a medical negligence compensation claim, speak to our team without delay.

Compensation for Plastic Surgery Blunder

C attended a private clinic in June 2006 for a consultation with D with a view to having facial cosmetic surgery including an upper and lower blepharoplasty.

C enquired as to the risks of surgery, particularly in view of the fact that she had an existing dry eye condition caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film lubricating the eyes. D reassured C that all necessary precautions would be taken postoperatively to ensure that she had an optimum result. No warning or risks were advised of potential long term complications.

D did not carry out any visual acuity or visual field testing. He did not carry out Schirmer’s Test as a method of estimating tear production and he did not refer the claimant to an Ophthalmologist or an Oculoplastic Surgeon for advice regarding the suitability of the blepharoplasty in her particularly case.

The surgery took place in early August 2006 and D used histoacryl glue to close the subcilary incisions. Histoacryl is a topical skin adhesive that is widely used for the closing of skin wounds but it is contra-indicated in the closure of lower blepharoplasty incisions.

A letter of claim was sent to D in December 2008 and D made an admission in relation to the use of histoacryl glue and that this was likely to have contributed to an exacerbation of C’s dry eye condition, discomfort and the need for revision surgery. C’s case was progressed further on the basis of lack of informed consent to the lower eyelid blepharoplasty, in that if C had been warned by the D or an Ophthalmologist that there was a risk of her dry eye condition being exacerbated to the point where she had to rely on topical lubricants several times a day, then she would not have proceeded with the blepharoplasty at all and just proceeded with the facelift.

Proceedings were issued in August 2009 and settlement was achieved on 13 November 2009.

Injuries: C suffered numerous problems postoperatively and in particular the outer corner of her right eye became red and swollen and her skin felt hard and lumpy underneath both eyes. An infection developed and when C returned to D it was necessary for an urgent revision procedure to be performed where he removed glue from underneath the skin at the lower lids. C’s eyes became so sore and swollen that she was unable to return to work as planned and her vision was affected to the extent that she could not drive, read or watch television. C required further revision surgery after seeking a second opinion when it was discovered that the tissue glue had seeped into the skin wound of the lower eyelids and had hardened and become embedded there.

Effects: Despite revision surgery, C has suffered long term problems with a further loss of skin from the lower eyelids which has resulted in lower eyelid retraction and a loss of some lashes in the left lower eyelid. The lower lid retraction has resulted in the further exacerbation of C’s dry eye condition and she has been informed that it is unlikely that they will ever return to their preoperative state. C now has to rely upon daily lubricants up to 12 times per day. She suffers severe photophobia with secondary overflow tearing and her dry eyes are particularly exacerbated if the weather is hot or windy or if C is in a smoky atmosphere or subjected to bright lights or sunlight. In addition she is affected by scarring affecting the outer aspect of her right lower eyelid, asymmetrical creasing and an abnormally low position of both lower eyelids showing the “white of the eyes”.

The case was settled on a global basis. Special damages consisted of past plastic surgery and consultancy costs and expenses and future expenses included the insertion of punctal plugs and potential further revision surgery for a left upper lid blepharoplasty with conservative levator aponeurosis to improve the asymmetric appearance of the claimant’s eyes.

If you have suffered injury or find yourself in discomfort following cosmetic surgery, speak to the specialist medical negligence solicitors about making a cosmetic surgery negligence claim at the earliest convenience. We can help get your life back on track

Attacked by Abusive Neighbour

Lanyon Bowdler acted for an client who had been attacked by an abusive neighbour, leading to minor physical injuries, but more importantly, an on-going psychiatric injury in the form of distress and nervousness affecting the client’s ability to leave her home.

The authority had assessed the amount being payable to her as £1,000.00. On dealing with the matter for a review, the team were able to obtain medical evidence confirming the client’s condition and the affect, and obtained her an award of £4,500.00.

If you are unfortunately involved in a similar situation, or indeed you sustain injuries in any circumstances caused through the fault or negligence of others, speak to the personal injury solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler

Compensation for Delay in Diagnosing Cyst

C received £14,000 for the delay in diagnosing and treating a keratocyst following routine radiographs taken at the claimant’s dental practice in November 2001.

Clinical Negligence: In November 2001, the claimant had routine radiographs taken at his dental practice. It was alleged that the keratocyst should have been diagnosed and treated at that time. However, the radiographs were not reported as abnormal and no referral was made. The keratocyst went undiagnosed until 2006 when it was noted by the claimant’s treating dentist. The claimant was referred to a Consultant Oral and Maxillo Facial Surgeon, who carried out further investigations and the cyst was confirmed.

The claimant subsequently underwent an extensive course of treatment involving four major operations over a ten-month period. In addition, during that period, he had to undergo repeated episodes of pack removal, irrigation and pack reinsertion. The claimant suffered pain, suffering and psychiatric injury because the suffering involved distress as to the nature of the treatment and concern of the risk of jaw fracture.

It was the claimant’s case that the defendant was negligent in failing to diagnose the pathology in the lower right molar area from the radiographs and to make the appropriate referral for treatment in 2001. It was further alleged that as a result of the delay, the lesion had extended considerably resulting in weakening of the bone and making the treatment more complex. The claimant alleged that if the treatment had been undertaken in November 2001, the procedure would have been more straightforward with a reduced risk of infection and jaw fracture. The claimant’s expert Maxillo Facial Surgeon advised that causation issues were complex.

The defendant admitted negligence in failing to diagnose and make the appropriate referral at the time of the radiographs in 2001, however, causation was strongly contested throughout the case.

A letter of claim was sent setting out the claimant’s case and including a preliminary schedule of loss. The schedule included losses made directly by the claimant and subrogated claims on behalf of the claimant’s employers in respect of loss of earnings and private medical insurers in respect of the cost of treatment.

The defendant sent a letter of response, admitting breach of duty but disputing causation. It was the defendant’s case that even if the cyst had been identified at the time of the radiographs in 2001, he would still have undergone the same treatment resulting in the same outcome. However, a partial concession was made that the overall course of treatment might have reduced by a third which might have had a modest effect on the claimant’s pain and suffering.

The defendant made a global offer of £10,000 together with costs. Following a further conference with counsel to explore the expert evidence on causation issues, the defendant’s offer was rejected. A counter offer was made of £19,000. Negotiations continued. The defendant required clarification of the expert evidence as it was apparent that there were significant points of dispute between the experts on causation issues. The opinion of a Consultant Oral and Maxillo Facial Radiologist was sought because the defendant raised an issue as to the precise measurements of the cyst and its growth.

Finally, the defendant made an offer of £14,000 which was accepted by the claimant shortly before protective proceedings were due to be issued.

Injuries: As a result of the delay in diagnosing the keratocyst, the lesion extended below the lower jaw resulting in considerable weakening of the bone necessitating complex and extended treatment than would otherwise have been necessary.

Effects: The claimant has ongoing problems as a result of the negligence to include a tender lump on the right side of the lower jaw; reduced mouth opening: pain episodes; sensitive teeth on the right side of the lower jaw; inferior alveolar nerve paraesthesia post operatively and ongoing incomplete recovery of sensation over the right side of the lower lip; loss of right lower molar teeth.

If you believe you have claim for delayed diagnosis against a medical professional, speak to out Medical solicitors at Lanyon Bowlde, we will be happy to help.

Arm Injuries Suffered by Holidaymaker on Belgium Bus

Mr and Mrs S booked a coach holiday online, which was a five day break from Folkstone to Bruges, Belgium. At Bruges, the coach stopped just outside the city and they were asked by the coach driver to catch a park and ride bus that would take them into the centre of Bruges. About five minutes into the journey the bus made a stop and the doors in the middle of the bus suddenly opened inward. As they opened in on themselves this trapped Mrs S's arm inside. She suffered a fracture to the Ulna and radius of her right arm. During the course of the case Mrs S sadly passed away from causes unrelated to her injury. Mr S continued the claim on her behalf.

Liability was admitted early on, however, the matter became complex following the issue of proceedings. The claimant issued court proceedings in England relying on the case of FBTO –v- Odenbreit. In that case Articles 9-11 Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 (“Brussels I”) were interpreted to allow an EU resident injured in a road traffic accident in another EU state to bring the claim against the relevant motor insurer in her home court. The defendant park and ride bus was state owned and self-insured. No previous cases dealt with interpretation of Articles 9-11 of Brussels 1 where the defendant was self-insured. The rules were clear where the defendant was insured and where the defendant was uninsured, but how Brussels 1 would be interpreted for a self-insured defendant was unknown. Whilst the claimant was of the view that the articles should be interpreted in the same way as for an insurer, thereby allowing the claimant to bring a case in her home court, the defendants were of the view that they could not fall under the definition of insurer and the matter should therefore be brought in Belgium. The defendants therefore issued an application disputing jurisdiction.

We were determined to challenge the interpretation of the European Directives and with the expert guidance of Counsel Bernard Doherty. the matter appeared before Telford County Court. Before the matter was heard quantum was agreed between the parties leaving the only outstanding issue of jurisdiction. The judgment handed down at a later date dismissed the defendant’s application on the grounds that there had been an agreement between the parties that the matter would be brought in England. From very early on in the case we had corresponded with the Belgian claims handler and indicated that should we need to issue proceedings, the matter would be issued in England. This was not disputed by the defendant until after proceedings were issued more than a year after correspondence first indicated that the English courts had jurisdiction.

This was a complicated case that involved a challenge to the interpretation of the European Directives and a great result for the Claimant as this meant that Mr S is then entitled to claim his costs of the action from the Defendant.

If you or a family member has been injured whilst on holiday, you could well be entitled to make an accident abroad injury claim, contact the personal injury solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler, our team are ready to help you

Compensation Rewarded to Widow Following Death of Husband During Surgery

A widow was awarded compensation of £168,000 following the tragic death of her 69 year old husband from a haemorrhage during surgery to remove an intracranial meningioma. The haemorrhage could not be stopped as a vital item of surgical material was not available in theatre, causing the patient to develop a coagulation deficit and suffer a fatal cardiac arrest. It was alleged that if the relevant material had been available in theatre, the bleeding would have been stopped; the deceased would have survived the surgery and he would have had a normal life expectancy.

The claimant contacted Lanyon Bowdler in October 2011 in respect of a possible negligence claim and to seek representation at an inquest which was due to take place in December of 2011. We considered issues which should be investigated including the need for the neurosurgery and the appropriateness of the operation carried out; delay in the surgery being performed and the standard of care of the surgery, including the significance of the failure of staff to ensure that thick Spongostan (a haemostatic material designed to stop bleeding) was available in theatre.

Following the death, extensive internal investigations were carried out at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire where the surgery had taken place and witness statements were provided to the Coroner by medical staff who had been involved in the care of the deceased, including the Neurosurgeon and Anaesthetist. The post-mortem report confirmed that death had been due to uncontrollable haemorrhage during surgery to remove the meningioma. The internal root cause analysis investigation concluded that there had been failings in not having thick Spongostan available in theatre, and steps were taken to ensure adequate stock levels in the future. However, no conclusion was reached in that investigation as to whether the death would have been prevented if the thick Spongostan had been available.

The Coroner agreed to adjourn the inquest in order to allow further appropriate investigation to take place. After considerable delay in obtaining further relevant witness evidence and documentation, the inquest finally took place in January 2013, at which the family were represented by Lanyon Bowdler. The Coroner’s verdict was that the deceased had died as a recognised complication of the surgery, but the lack of thick Spongostan significantly contributed to his death.

In the meantime, supportive expert evidence had been obtained from a Consultant Neurosurgeon to the effect that if the thick Spongostan had been available, the deceased would probably have survived the surgery, would have had a normal life expectancy and would have had no significant ongoing neurological deficit or weakness.

In September 2012, the NHS Litigation Authority, on behalf of the defendants, admitted that the failure to ensure thick Spongostan was available in theatre was negligent and that this failure had probably caused the death of the deceased.

No admissions were made however as to what the deceased’s life expectancy or state of health would have been if he had survived the operation. An initial settlement offer of £17,500 was made.

The claimant was advised that the potential value of the claim was significantly in excess of that sum, which would only reflect a claim for the statutory bereavement award and funeral expenses, but in addition, there was likely to be a significant claim for financial dependency and loss of services.

Evidence was obtained from the deceased’s pension providers and from the family with regard to services that had been provided by the deceased, and after an extensive period of negotiation, the claim was finally settled for £168,000 in August 2013. The defendants also provided a letter of apology to the claimant.

Making a compensation claim for surgical negligence is a complex matter and should be discussed with our team of expert Medical Negligence Solicitors as soon as is possible

£7.4m for Injured Man

A Shropshire client was awarded compensation when the High Court sitting in Birmingham approved a £7.4m settlement. The fund will be held and managed by the Court of Protection and will be used to meet his needs.

The claimant, together with his fiancée, were travelling along the A41 at Tong, when they were involved in a head on collision with a car travelling on the wrong side of the road. The driver of the oncoming car died at the scene of the accident as a result of her injuries. Her insurers admitted negligence. The claimant and his fiancee were airlifted to Selly Oak Hospital where sadly the claimant’s fiancee later died.

The claimant sustained a serious brain injury and was in a critical condition for several weeks. He spent two years in hospital and then moved into a specially adapted home bought with an interim payment. He has been left with language, speech and cognitive difficulties. He also suffered multiple orthopaedic injuries which severely limit his walking distance. The injuries were so bad that the claimant has been left needing 24 hour supervision for the rest of his life.

In the unfortunate case of you or a family member being involved in a major accident, speak to the serious injury claim lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler, it will be our priority to ensure the smoothest road to recovey and to secure you the maximum compenation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Claim for Extraction of Wrong Tooth

C received £5,500.00 for the failed extraction of a tooth, UR7, and accidental extraction of UR8. The roots of the UR7 were lying beneath the roots of UR6 and the tooth was blocked by horizontally erupting UR8. When the dentist attempted to extract UR7, the tooth UR8 was accidentally extracted as well. C claimed for a six month period of prolonged pain and suffering.

Clinical Negligence: On 8 March 2006 C attended the Whitecross Dental Centre, Telford, complaining of pain in the upper 7 teeth. C was seen, examined and following an X-ray was advised that two teeth required extraction and were not capable of being saved by root filling or any other dental treatment. One of the teeth involved was UR7 and C’s claim related to the attempted extraction of this tooth.

On 11 April 2006 C returned to the Whitecross Dental Centre for the extraction of tooth UR7. Three cartridges of anaesthetic were administered to C. The first dentist initially attempted the extraction and the second dentist was asked to assist. The dental records indicate that the second dentist tried to extract the tooth by separating the roots.

C complained that the anaesthetic was starting to wear off but no more anaesthetic could be administered. The dental records indicated that the roots of the UR7 were laying beneath the roots of UR6 and the tooth was blocked by horizontally erupting UR8. The records confirm that when attempting to elevate the roots of UR7, UR8 was accidentally extracted as well. C was advised of this immediately and attempts to remove UR7 were then abandoned. C was prescribed Amoxycillin and was referred to the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Department at the Newcross Hospital in Wolverhampton. C claimed for a period of six months prolonged pain and suffering and on 24 October 2006 C underwent an extraction of UR7 under general anaesthetic at the Newcross Hospital.

Injuries: The claimant suffered from having an extra tooth extracted.

Effects: The claimant suffered a prolonged period of six months pain and suffering.

Damages were settled after a second Part 36 Offer by the defendants was accepted.

Total Damages: £5,500.00
Type of Award: Out of Court settlement
Settlement Date: 2 April 2009
Age at injury: 28 years
Sex: Female

If you have suffered at the hands of a negligent dentist or indeed through the fault or negligence of any medical professional. Call the Medical Negligence Solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler for a friendly and informal chat to help you understand your rights and the chances of making a successful medical negligence claim

£1m for Claimant Blinded at Work

Dawn Humphries, partner in the personal injury department recovered £1m for a claimant who was seriously injured in an accident at work. The claimant, at the time of the accident, was installing lifts in a new building.

The lift cage was in place, but there were no doors fitted onto the lift. A switch was operated which caused the lift to move up the shaft at speed and crush the claimants face between the lift cage and one of the floors of the building, causing him to fall 20 feet down the lift shaft.

The claimant suffered severe facial injuries including anterior fractured mandible, left zygomatic arch fracture, left zygomatic root fracture, right zygomatic fracture, left and right malar fractures, avulsed comminuted fracture of the maxilla, shattered nasal bones, facial lacerations, avulsed left eye, ruptured right globe of eye, bleeding from both ear canals and fractures of both scapulae. The claimant was left totally blind with significant hearing loss and residual shoulder disability.

The claimant required major reconstructive surgery and extensive rehabilitation. The Serious Injury Claim settlement made provision for the fact the claimant suffered complete loss of earnings capacity and required care with his everyday life. He required aids, equipment, housing modifications, specialised transport and further extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. The claimant was 24 at the date of the accident

£1.9m Awarded Following Grenoble Coach Crash

A Shropshire man was awarded compensation when the High Court sitting in London approved a £1.9m settlement. Lanyon Bowdler's catastrophic injury specialist & Serious Injury Lawyer Neil Lorimer said: “It has been carefully calculated to meet the claimant's extensive needs now and for the rest of his life. The fund will be held and managed by the Court of Protection and will be used to meet those needs. Part of the award also replaces his extensive loss of income following early retirement.”

24 passengers brought successful actions in the High Court of which this claimant was the last. They were being transported from the French Alps ski resort of Vars to Grenoble Airport for their return flight to Manchester Airport on 5 January 2007.

All but two of the passengers were a party consisting of pupils from a local school in Shrewsbury, the majority of whom were travelling with their parents. our client had organised the trip.

The accident occurred at approximately 06.35 hours on a mountain road just outside of Mizoen. Numerous flashing warning notices of black ice were passed by the coach along the alpine road. Notwithstanding the warnings of black ice, the darkness and the winding road the tachograph recording showed the coach to have been travelling at a speed of approximately 60mph at the time of impact.

The driver lost control of the coach when it hit ice. The coach smashed into a rock face, then spun 360° before demolishing a telegraph pole, striking the other side of the coach and coming to rest against a crash barrier, on the other side of which was a steep drop down the side of a mountain.

The claimant was found on the roadside near to where the first collision occurred. He was the most seriously injured passenger. Two of the parents on the trip were medics and they attended to the claimant and provided him with emergency treatment which, together with the considerable input at Grenoble Hospital, saved his life. Our client is extremely grateful for their assistance particularly when they were both involved in the accident.

The driver was prosecuted and convicted on 11 December 2009 of a driving offence and received a €600 fine.

Civil proceedings were brought against the driver, the local coach operator and their insurers in the High Court in England. Although the accident occurred in France and involved French defendants under European law a victim of a road traffic accident occurring in the EU can bring their claim in their home Court i.e. England.

Lanyon Bowdler acted for 24 claimants in total, the majority of whom sustained minor to moderate physical and psychiatric injuries. There was a complex dispute in the action with respect to whether the law to be applied to the issues of liability and assessment of damages should be French law or English law. Ultimately all of the issues were resolved by out of Court settlement with this particular case being the last to settle. A total of £2,125,250.00 in damages has been awarded.

Our client said: “I just want to say I am very grateful for all of the support and hard work put in by my solicitors, Neil Lorimer and his colleagues from Lanyon Bowdler. I also want to thank all of my family and friends, my rehab team plus the local community for all their help and support. Also, the staff at the school where I was teaching at the time of the accident have helped enormously.”

The case was the most serious injury of all the claimants. He sustained a serious brain injury and was in a critical condition in hospital in Grenoble before being flown back to the Princess Royal Hospital where he remained for several weeks. He suffered bruising and bleeding of the brain and required neurosurgery, plus a fracture of the skull. He suffers from headaches, dizziness, loss of smell and taste, deafness of the right ear and loss of balance. He has suffered a change of personality and the effects of his injuries continue to have a significant impact on his day to day life.

Following intensive rehabilitation and retraining together with very considerable effort and determination on the part of our client he managed to return to work teaching IT. However despite his best efforts he was unable to sustain his employment and is now medically retired.

Claim for Damages after Failed Sterilisation

C received £45,000 for a failed sterilisation procedure performed on 4 April 2006 by the defendant hospital NHS Trust. The failed sterilisation subsequently led C to become pregnant and a termination was performed.

Clinical Negligence: C underwent a sterilisation procedure on 4th April 2006 because C had already had three children and felt her family was complete. C underwent a laparoscopic sterilisation notably tubal ligation using filshie clips.

C was seen in clinic on 11th July 2006 as the sterilisation procedure had failed resulting in a pregnancy within eight weeks of the operation. C became distressed at this news and after three weeks decided upon a termination. D did not offer C any counselling during this decision process. C underwent a termination on 28 July 2006 which was uneventful and C was discharged on the same day. Following the termination C suffered from acute endometritis. By October 2006 C was experiencing lower abdominal pain on a regular basis which lasted for most of the day.

C was referred to a gynaecologist with a view to the discussion of a possible laparoscopy and removal of the clips if appropriate. C was anxious about becoming pregnant again and went on the oral contraceptive pill and in October 2006 had a mirena intrauterine system fitted. On 23 January 2007 C attended the gynaecological clinic but was to distressed to be examined. C attended the clinic again on 20 February 2007 and complained that since the sterilisation she was experiencing right groin pain radiating into her leg. It was agreed the fistula clips would be removed and C’s fallopian tubes would be completely removed to ensure permanent and irreversible contraception. It was also agreed the mirena intrauterine system would be removed and a trans-vaginal pelvic ultra sound scan was requested.

On 19 March 2008 C was admitted to the defendant hospital for day surgery where the filshie clips, bi-lateral laparoscopic salphingectomy and the mirena intrauterine system were removed.

C brought an action against D, alleging that the tubal ligation underwent by C was negligently performed and there was breach of duty by D. Breach of duty was admitted by D but causation remained disputed in particular the extent of C’s psychiatric claim. C had a complex psychiatric history and had been diagnosed in her early twenties with borderline psychiatric disorder. C contended that she had suffered a psychiatric illness of moderate severity compounded by the underlying personality disorder as a result of the negligence (eggshell skull principal). D argued that C had only suffered a mild depressive illness, a natural emergence of her borderline personality disorder unconnected with the negligence.

Proceedings were issued on 26 March 2009 and the case continued to be defended by D after service of the schedule of loss and expert evidence. The case was settled shortly after the meeting of experts and preparation of joint statement.

Injuries: As a result of the above negligence, C suffered sickness and vomiting, stomach cramps and a flare up of asthma during the early stages of her pregnancy. Following the sterilisation C suffered from lower abdominal pain, right groin pain radiating into her right leg and suffered from a major depressive episode of moderate severity as a consequence of D’s negligence.

Effects: C had to undergo a further laparoscopy for removal of the filshie clips and to have her fallopian tubes completely removed. C has suffered from a major depressive episode of moderate severity as a consequence of the events and C’s symptoms are continuing. C needed to undergo psychiatric and therapeutic intervention. Following D’s negligence, C attempted suicide on 30 December 2008 and was admitted to hospital for two days.

Prognosis: C is continuing to suffer from a major depressive episode and is undergoing psychiatric and therapeutic intervention. C was likely to return to her pre-sterilisation condition within two years of the conclusion of the litigation.

Damages were settled on a global basis with no particular breakdown provided.

Total Damages: £45,000
Type of Award: Out of Court Settlement (approved)
Settlement Date: 17 November 2009
Court: Shrewsbury County Court
Age at Injury: 29
Sex: Female

If you or a loved one have been left injured or psychological effected through the negligence of medical professionals, speak to Lanyon Bowdler's medical negligence solicitors for support and to understand your legal rights toward making a medical negligence claim.

£5,000 for Work Shoulder Injury

An 80-year-old man who fell at work and injured his shoulder received £5,000 in an out of court settlement. The claimant worked part-time in Barnsley as a handyman. The injury forced him to retire and left him with a permanent disability.

The accident happened when the claimant was tidying the warehouse. He was moving a hydraulic pump truck, which was loaded with empty pallets, when his foot got caught. He fell and injured his shoulder so severely that he was unable to move or raise the alarm for ten minutes.

After several hospital visits it was established that the claimant had sustained a rotator cuff injury to his shoulder. This was so serious that he no longer has the full use of the joint and may require a shoulder replacement in the future. He now needs help carrying out some tasks around the house and is no longer able to take his wife ballroom dancing.

The claimant had not received training from his employers in the use of the truck, nor in manual handling and this failure was thought to have contributed to the accident.

Employers have a duty under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to provide adequate training to enable employees to carry out their jobs safely. If you have been injured at work because of a failure to provide appropriate instruction on manual handling or how to perform a task safely, then you could be entitled to compensation, speak to our personal injury solicitors today, confidentially to see how we can help you.

Seaman's Will Upheld

Claire Vale, as associate solicitor in our team of contentious probate lawyers, acted on behalf of a claimant who successfully applied to the High Court to revoke a grant of letters of administration in respect of the estate of her nephew; the Court pronounced in favour of a verbal Will made by the nephew in 1990.

Section 11 of the Wills Act 1837 provides that any soldier being in actual military service, or any mariner or seaman being at sea, may dispose of his property after death without the usual formalities.

Our client's nephew had been a ship's radio officer, always serving on board foreign ships. On his death a grant of letters of administration had been obtained on the assumption that he had died intestate. Subsequently it became apparent that in 1985, and again in 1990, he might have made valid nuncupative Wills under the privilege accorded to seamen and mariners under Section 11 of the Wills Act 1837. The evidence of the nephew's cousin, was that he had told her on those two occasions that if anything happened to him he wanted everything to go to the claimant. The first conversation took place in Leeds and the second conversation took place in St Albans.

The radio officer was the son of the claimant’s twin sister, to whom the claimant had been very close. After his mother's death, in 1975, the claimant’s home became the officer's base whenever he was home from sea and she also became the recipient of all his financial correspondence whenever he was away. She was like his second mother.

The Court accepted his cousin’s evidence of the conversations with the officer. It was not necessary for the validity of the privileged Will that he knew he was making a Will; what was required was that he intended deliberately to express his wishes as to what should be done with his property in the event of his death.

The words used, the seriousness with which he spoke on both occasions and the fact that his cousin was a person who could be relied upon to carry out his wishes combined to show that the test of intention was satisfied.

The Court also found that the privilege contained in Section 11 of the Act was not restricted to those serving or engaged to serve on British-registered ships.

The phrase "being at sea" in Section 11 had been construed in previous cases as not just including seamen literally at sea, but also extending to those on land who were "under orders" to join their ship. The officer was to be regarded as having been "at sea" on the second occasion because the evidence showed he had at that time been instructed to join his ship and his activities thereafter were directed towards his preparation for the voyage.

The Court therefore revoked the grant of letters of administration and pronounced in favour of the 1990 Will. That would have the effect of revoking any previous Will, including the one made in 1985.

£375,000 for Father of Two after Hospital Blunder

The claimant took his case to our Shrewsbury office and instructed a specialist who accompanied him in the High Court in Liverpool, following the death of his wife in March 1998.

A representative from Lanyon Bowdler said 'Obviously the death of our client's wife was devastating to all the family and close friends. We have fought long and hard and received an apology from East Kent Health Authority and I am happy to see that both he and his family will find some comfort in the award'.

Our client's wife died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in March 1998 after being diagnosed with cervical cancer five years earlier.

It was only after her death, when our client started looking into her medical history, that he realised the results of a smear test in the 1980s had gone unnoticed.

He said: 'My wife went for a smear test in 1989. It was a routine smear. At the time she was carrying our eldest child. 'The test went to Shrewsbury Hospital and they were busy so it went down to East Kent. It was reported on as being negative when in actual fact it was found that it was covered in cancerous cells.'

And now medical experts say that if she had been properly treated in the early 1990s there is a 90 per cent chance she would have been completely cured and that she would not have developed the invasive cervical cancer which wracked her body and stole her from her husband and children.

It was only after the birth of the couple's second child that a lump was found on her cervix and she was diagnosed with cancer.

She underwent chemotherapy and, for a few brief months seemed to improve, but the following July an inoperable six-centimetre tumour was found.

She became weaker and weaker and finally died the next March. East Kent Health Authority has admitted liability and apologised. He and the children have been awarded £375,000 compensation.

Our client said: 'It will never bring her back but if I can at least try and stop it happening again I will be pleased. This would never have come out if we hadn't delved into her medical records. It makes me very angry. It really does. Obviously the children have lost their mother at such a young age. For a mistake like this to have been made is terrible. The money will never make up for the loss of their mother but at least they will be financially secure and, more importantly, will grow up knowing that someone was sorry for the mistake.'

If you or a family member has been affected by cervical cancer misdiagnosis contact the medical negligence solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler, our team are ready to help you

£1.5m Awarded Following a Road Traffic Accident

Neil Lorimer, partner in the personal injury team, secured a settlement of nearly £1.5m for a claimant following a road traffic accident and subsequent Serious Injury Claim

At the time of the accident, the claimant was 33 years old. He was riding his bicycle when he was involved in a collision with the defendants motor vehicle. The defendant had argued that the accident was the claimant's fault, because his bicycle had swerved in front of his car. Neil was able to produce evidence, based on the accident debris and witness statements, to show that this was not the case and shortly before the trial, the defendant admitted responsibility for the accident.

The claimant suffered multiple injuries in the accident and as a result of the accident the claimant lost his home, job and contact with his son. He was no longer able to work or manage his financial affairs, but with daily assistance from a support worker, is now able to live in the community.

The claimant's compensation award includes amounts for loss of earnings, care and household assistance, accommodation and adaptation costs, transport needs, aids and equipment as well as an amount for the pain and suffering received. This award has enabled the claimant to acquire suitable accommodation and employ a case manager and support worker.

Neil, who as well as being on the Law Society's personal injury and clinical negligence panels, is also on the Headway panel, a charity which specialises in helping adults with acquired brain injury. He says of the case “this was one of the most professionally challenging times spent in dealing with an acquired brain injury matter, culminating in an excellent result for the claimant.”

Inheritance Act Claim

Claire acted on behalf of a claimant whose partner had died and whose will failed to make any financial provision for her. His children from a previous relationship inherited the whole of his estate. The deceased was a businessman, who owned various properties and other assets. He also owned the family home, where he had lived with the claimant and their daughter. The claim was settled on the basis that the family home, worth over £300,000, was transferred to the claimant outright, and she also received a lump sum from the estate.

If you are seeking to dispute a will, speaking to the will disputes and contentious probate team at Lanyon Bowdler, for expert and confidential advice

Delay in Diagnosis and Treatment of Ulnar Collateral Ligament

Lanyon Bowdler acted for a claimant who brought a claim for damages for personal injuries and consequential loss arising from alleged clinical negligence. This was with respect to the delay in diagnosis and treatment of ulnar collateral ligament of the right thumb.

The claimant, aged 44, sustained injuries during a fall on 30 May 2011. She attended the Accident & Emergency Department of the Worcester Royal Hospital where it was noted that she had fallen onto her outstretched hand; there was pain to the right thumb with swelling; decreased range of movement and tenderness. An x-ray was said to show a fracture to the base of the first metacarpal. The plan was for the claimant to have a thumb spica, high arm sling and to be reviewed in the Fracture Clinic the following morning.

On 31 May 2011, the claimant was seen as planned by a locum registrar in Trauma and Orthopaedics. It was noted on examination that she was extremely tender around the ulnar aspect of the metacarpophalangeal joint of the right thumb. X-rays were said not to show any fractures but there appeared to be some translation at the metacarpophalangeal joint. The locum registrar considered that the claimant might have a significant ligamentous injury, but could not confirm this clinically on account of pain. She was to be kept in a soft case thumb spica for one week to allow it to settle and then to be seen again.

The claimant was seen again in the Trauma Clinic on 3 June 2011 by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. He requested an urgent ultrasound to look for evidence of a Stenner lesion. He noted that if that was present, open repair would be required, otherwise the injury could be managed with a spica for four to eight weeks.

In the event, the ultrasound request card was not received by the Radiology Department and the claimant underwent the ultrasound on 6 July 2011. When reviewed by another locum registrar, on 22 July 2011, he noted that the ultrasound scan showed that the ulnar collateral ligament had not been visualised and referred the claimant for an opinion regarding reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament. The referral letter was typed on 3 August 2011.

There was some delay in arranging surgery and the claimant finally underwent reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament at the Spire South Bank Hospital, Worcester. Initially, it was considered that it was settling down but by 9 December 2011, it was identified that there was a lack of stability in the thumb. By this time the claimant’s options were limited and it was decided an MCPJ fusion would be performed which was subsequently undertaken on 2 February 2012 at the Worcester Royal Hospital. Sadly, the MCPJ fusion subsequently fractured, requiring further surgery on 5 October 2012 at the Spire South Bank Hospital. In the meantime, the claimant’s employers terminated her contract of employment as she had been unable to work for so long. In November 2013, she started work again but had concerns that the initial delay in diagnosis and treatment had adversely impacted on the long term outcome.

An early, quasi Letter of Claim was sent following which full admissions were made.
Damages were awarded in the sum of £40,000.00 inclusive of CRU (recoverable benefits) totaling £8,971.25.

If you feel you have been treated negligently by your GP or another medical professional, contact our medical negligence lawyers to discuss your case.

Forward Thinking Advice For Family Run Businesses

A private company limited by shares, being owned by a married couple and their son in equal shares was advised by Lanyon Bowdler on the adoption of its new articles of association.

The family originally sought legal advice due to the son’s failing marriage and their concerns as to what effect a potential divorce could have on the business. As the business was owned and managed entirely by the son and his parents they wanted to ensure its continuity as a family business.

The family were advised that the most likely outcome in the event of the son’s divorce (in this particular situation) would involve a court taking account of the value of his shares when making the ultimate financial award between the divorcing spouses. The other possible outcomes may have included the court ordering the transfer or issue of shares to the son’s wife. However, this was less likely as the business had always been a family business in which the wife had no involvement. Nonetheless, there was still a risk as the family court has the power to make such orders.

After receiving initial advice concerning the likely outcome of the son’s failing marriage, the family were advised of ways in which their ownership of the business could be better protected in future. Lanyon Bowdler recommended they adopt a new set of articles of association (the constitution and internal governing rules of the company) as the most appropriate method of cementing the company’s existing structure. The protections incorporated into the business's new articles of association included:

  • only permitting share transfers in very limited circumstances after specific protocols had been followed (generally referred to as pre-emption rights). Pre-emption rights essentially give continuing shareholders the legal right to purchase a leaving shareholder’s shares before they may be offered for sale to third parties; and
  • the automatic transfer of shares to the other shareholders which would be triggered upon the occurrence of certain events, for example, the death or bankruptcy of a shareholder.

The above provisions are examples of how protections can be integrated into a company’s articles of association to prevent shares being transferred either intentionally or unintentionally to a third party, thereby diluting a family’s collective ownership.

It is worth noting that in most circumstances, shares in a company with standard model or Table A articles are freely transferrable. This is rarely advisable and can result in unwanted third parties, such as competitors or difficult investors, acquiring some ownership rights. If you would like advice about the amendment of your company’s articles of association please contact a member of the corporate and commercial team.

Contentious Probate Disputes

The team at Lanyon Bowdler successfully acted for a claimant whose partner died, without leaving a Will, so that his whole estate passed to his parents under the intestacy rules. It was a relatively large estate and the case was settled on the basis that the claimant would receive the whole of the estate, apart from a modest legacy of £60,000 which was paid to the deceased's parents.

If you want to dispute a will where you feel you have been treated unfairly, contact the contentious probate solicitors at Lanyon Bowdler to discuss your claim

Twenty Week Scan Failed To Detect Serious Birth Defects

In July 2011 Lanyon Bowdler obtained £600,000.00 for G in connection with a claim arising out of the birth of her son S. G’s instructions were that a 20 week scan carried out during her pregnancy failed to detect serious birth defects that S was suffering from.

S was born with a number of abnormalities involving his bowel, bladder and genitals. His other problems included chronic renal failure, holes in his heart, problems with his spine and feet, hip problems and failure to thrive. None of these problems were identified at the 20 week scan or during subsequent ante-natal appointments. S had to undergo heart and bladder surgery and was naso-gastrically fed.

G’s instructions were that had S’s abnormalities been detected at 20 week scan, she would have chosen to undergo a termination. Because of the matters complained of, G was compelled to bring up a child with multiple birth difficulties with the associated additional expenses. She also suffered a psychiatric injury.

To prove the case, it was necessary for us to instruct an expert Sonographer to examine G’s records and give advice on the standard of care provided by the 20 week scan. We obtained the opinion of an expert in Radiology as to what would have happened if the defects had been identified on the scan and G had been referred. Further, an opinion from an expert in Foetal Medicine was obtained to advise on the advice that G would have received had she been aware of S’s abnormalities.

The opinion of the experts was that had the Sonographer performed the scan to the correct standard, S’s abnormalities would have been identified and G would have been advised to undergo a termination.

Court proceedings were issued on G’s behalf and the defendants filed a defence indicating that they intended to defend the claim.

The defendants admitted the fact that G only had one kidney and had an abnormal bladder was not identified at the ultrasound scan but denied that this was negligent. They argued that even if S’s abnormalities had been identified, G would not have proceeded to a termination. This view was supported by the defendant’s expert evidence.

The case was listed for trial in July 2011.

G’s case was settled shortly before trial without an admission of fault from the defendants. G accepted £600,000.00 in compensation. Although G’s case may have been worth more if she had been able to successfully prove it at court, G chose to accept a lower settlement rather than proceed to trial. The defendant’s initially made a very low offer of settlement, however with strong expert evidence and effective negotiation we were able to achieve an outcome that G was happy with.

The Medical Negligence Lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler can best advice on your options surrounding a whole range of issues caused by the negligence of a GP or any other medical professions. Call for a confidential discussion with us today

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