Medical negligence success at trial
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Trials in medical negligence cases are very rare. Kris Inskip today reports a recent success at a trial in Exeter.
He acted for Jodie Morris and her partner, Stevyn Gent. Jodie was admitted to Treliske hospital, Cornwall with abdominal pains, vomiting and nausea. She was then almost 24 weeks pregnant with her second child, Ashley. She was discharged 2 days later, on 24th December, without a formal diagnosis having been made. Jodie was in fact suffering from appendicitis. She was re-admitted to hospital on 28th December. By that time her appendix had ruptured and she was suffering from peritonitis (abdominal infection). She underwent an emergency appendicectomy on 28th December. She went into labour on 29th December and gave birth to her daughter, Ashley. Ashley was very ill at birth and admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Sadly Ashley’s condition deteriorated to such extent that the decision was taken to withdraw life support. Ashley died in the arms of her parents.
Jodie and Stevyn Gent, Ashley’s father, brought a medical negligence claim for damages for bereavement, on behalf of Ashley’s estate and for the psychiatric injuries which they both suffered as a result of their experience and the circumstances of Ashley’s suffering and death.
Kris obtained expert evidence supporting allegations of negligent medical treatment but the hospital denied throughout that its staff had been negligent. Immediately before the trial the parties agreed the amount of damages which were appropriate if the case was successful.
P>After a trial lasting 5 days His Honour Judge Cotter QC, found that that the treatment Jodie received was negligent. She should not have been discharged from hospital and should have been diagnosed with appendicitis. Had this happened she would have had surgery before her appendix ruptured and Ashley would have survived. Jodie and Stevyn’s case was therefore successful.
Kris Inskip represented Jodie Morris and Stevyn Gent throughout their claims. Counsel was Darryl Allen of Byrom Street Chambers.
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