Mrs E’s son developed epilepsy at the age of 7 and despite changes of medication continued to suffer erratic seizures. He was referred to a Consultant Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital where it was decided to reduce the dose of his medications in an attempt to provoke his seizures in order for them to be recorded.
The boy received his (reduced) medications at the hospital and began a series of tests. The boy was to be monitored at all times due to the reduced medication and the subsequent risks of this. After being advised that his mother was leaving and that he was to be monitored by a nurse the boy was left alone in his room. He then left his room unaccompanied and went to the toilet unaided. There he suffered a seizure and his airway was obstructed. This led to inadequate ventilation and eventually, as a consequence of this, the boy suffered from a cardiac arrest which resulted in catastrophic brain injury.
The boy is now in a persistent vegetative state with heavy nursing needs. Over time the boy has improved to a low awareness state but has remained totally dependent for all activities of daily living.
Proceedings were served and Great Ormond Street Hospital subsequently admitted responsibility for the breach of duty. An initial offer of £4,083,700 was made but not accepted. A further meeting considered a number of factors and a proposed settlement of £4,923,553 was offered. This was deemed as reflecting a good settlement for the Claimant, and was preferable to the risks of proceeding to trial.
At the same time Mrs E brought a separate claim in her own right in relation to the nervous shock she sustained resulting from the actions which led to her son’s injuries. She was the 2nd Claimant in this case.
The initial offer of £12,500 was rejected by Hugh James who considered her pain, suffering and loss and the fact that she had undergone therapy as recommended but had not made the expected recovery. Mrs E was later reimbursed a total of £30,000.