Following a road traffic accident Mr P suffered multiple injuries and was admitted to the Prince Charles Hospital. He had suffered serious, but not apparently life threatening injuries. He had fractures to his right femur, right foot, and left ankle. There were concerns however that he may also have suffered internal injuries.
He was treated for shock and was resuscitated overnight with fluids. He deteriorated during the course of the following morning and the clinicians responded by giving more resuscitation fluids on a number of occasions.
The quantities of fluid given were excessive and insufficient attention was given to recording and maintaining his fluid balance which led to the “flooding” of the air spaces in his lungs by fluid. Following this the Claimant sustained a catastrophic brain injury.
He now has limited awareness of his surroundings, cannot speak, is doubly incontinent, and is incapable of any voluntary movement.
The claimant suggested that the injuries could have been avoided however the defendant argued that the cause of the injuries were not preventable.
As there was no scope in this case for responsibility for only part of the Claimant’s injuries the result of the trial would therefore be “all or nothing”. Proceedings were served and the defendant denied liability.
A joint expert meeting took place to discuss the cause of his injuries and from this it was concluded that there was a strong element of uncertainty about the outcome of this case. It was decided that the litigation risks in this claim justified the consideration of a discounted settlement.
The defendant offered to compromise liability for 50% of the value of the claim but this was rejected because there was concern that the claimant could be in a position where the compensation could only meet a proportion of his future needs.
Following this the claim was finally settled and court approval given for a lump sum payment of £1,407,946.48. In addition to this there will be annual life time of payments of £104,874.90 for the Claimant’s future care and future case management costs.