Negligence Compensation Approved for Disabled Teenager

A teenage girl, who was left paralysed by a spinal surgeon´s negligence, has had a multi-million pounds doctor injury compensation settlement approved by the High Court in London.

Laura May (17) of Chorley, Lancashire, was admitted to the Royal Preston Hospital in March 2005 for an operation to correct a curvature of her spine. However, her orthopaedic surgeon – Dr Roger Battersby Smith – failed to use an imaging technique before operating, and negligently misplaced a screw during the operation.

As a result of Dr Smith´s negligence, Laura lost the use of her limbs and is paralysed from the chest down.

After seeking legal advice, Laura´s parents – Bill and Christine May – sued Dr Smith and the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for doctor injury compensation and, in 2009, the Royal Court of Justice ruled in favour of Laura and her family.

The High Court in London has now approved a negotiated settlement which will comprise of a lump sum payment now and periodic payments throughout Laura´s life. The total compensation package – which is believed to be around 3 million pounds – will provide medical care, specialised accommodation and equipment for Laura, as well as compensating her for future loss of earnings.