Archive for October 2013

Widow Receives Compensation for a Fatal Adverse Reaction to Medication

The widow of a man, who died from an acute renal failure after being treated for a toe infection, is to receive €45,000 compensation for a fatal adverse reaction to medication.

Margaret Devereux from Greenrath in County Tipperary claimed compensation for a fatal adverse reaction to medication after her husband – John Devereux – died in Cork University Hospital in March 2008 from acute renal failure.

Just two months previously, John had attended the South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel with an infection in a toe on his right foot. Doctors diagnosed that the infection was due to septic arthritis and prescribed John Sodium Fusidate – a medicine often prescribed for bacterial skin infections.

Not only did the infection in John´s toe get any better, John also started to develop debilitating pains in his arms and legs. He returned to South Tipperary General Hospital on 15th February, and was admitted for five further treatments of Sodium Fusidate.

While John was in the Clonmel hospital, his condition deteriorated further. He was transferred to Cork University Hospital, where he was diagnosed with rhabdmoloysis – a condition in which the muscles break down – and he died on 2nd March.

Margaret discovered that her husband´s death could have been avoided if a potential conflict between John´s existing diabetic medication and the Sodium Fusidate had been identified before it was administered.

After seeking legal advice Margaret claimed compensation for a fatal adverse reaction to medication against the South Tipperary Hospital and the Health Service Executive (HSE). Both parties denied liability for John´s death but, after a period of negotiation, agreed to a compensation settlement of €45,000 which Margaret accepted.

At the Dublin High Court, the settlement of compensation for a fatal adverse reaction to medication was approved by Mrs Justice Mary Irvine: who commented that it was a good settlement in the circumstances and that there would have been a “huge hill to climb to establish liability” had the claim gone to a full hearing.

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Compensation for Athetoid Cerebral Palsy Approved in Court

A young girl, who was brain damaged at birth due to medical negligence, has had a settlement of compensation for athetoid cerebral palsy approved at Leeds High Court.

Eight year old Ruby Curtis from Garforth in West Yorkshire was born at St James Hospital in Leeds on August 28th 2005, but had been deprived of oxygen in the womb when staff at the hospital failed to notice that her mother´s uterus had ruptured.

Due to the lack of oxygen, Ruby was born with athetoid cerebral palsy – a condition which affects all four of her limbs, her head and trunk, and causes involuntary muscular movements. Ruby needs assistance in all aspects of her everyday life, including personal care, education and feeding.

Although Ruby can make sounds, she is unable to speak and uses her eyes to communicate. Following her birth, Ruby´s mother gave up work to be her full-time carer and Ruby now attends the Percy Hedley School in Killingworth which specialises in educating children with cerebral palsy.

Ruby´s parents – Steve and Lisa – made a claim for athetoid cerebral palsy compensation after seeking legal advice and, following an eight year legal battle, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust admitted that mistakes had been made during Ruby´s birth and issued a formal apology.

At the High Court in Leeds, Judge Mark Gosnell was told that a settlement of compensation for athetoid cerebral palsy had been agreed, which will see Ruby receive £2.95 million as a lump sum payment to pay for her care, education costs and special accommodation near her school, with ongoing annual tax-free payments to provide the care Ruby needs when she reaches adulthood.

Approving the settlement, Judge Mark Gosnell said he hoped that the compensation for athetoid cerebral palsy would secure “a better family life for both you and Ruby” and that the apology made by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust would give them some sense of closure.

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