£60,000 fatal accident claim settled after failure to treat aneurysm

25 November 2020

Mrs P approached Co-op Legal Services in May 2018 following the death of her husband, Mr P in 2017. A Serious Incident Investigation found that his death was avoidable. Medical Negligence Solicitor, Daniel Comerford, took on the claim.

Client situation

Mr P had attended the emergency department of his local hospital in 2013 following a collapse. While he was being treated, an incidental finding was made of an abdominal aortic aneurysm measuring nearly 5cms in diameter, which was unrelated to his collapse. This finding was passed on to the ward Mr P was referred to and his GP was also notified of the aneurysm in a discharge summary that was sent to the GP Practice, which referred to the aneurysm as being ‘small’. No further documentation about the aortic aneurysm was passed on.

The abdominal aortic aneurysm was not followed up by the Hospital or the GP (despite Mr P attending both regularly throughout 2016 and 2017).

Mr P attended the emergency department at his local hospital again on 29 April 2017 after he had been suffering with lower abdominal and groin pain for two weeks. He was examined by a GP who diagnosed him with a ‘sprain’ and discharged him with analgesia.

Mr P’s condition continued to deteriorate, and he was taken to the emergency department, by ambulance, on 30 April 2017 after he suffered a cardiac arrest. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Mr P suffered a further cardiac arrest and sadly passed away.

A post-mortem was carried out and revealed an abdominal aortic aneurysm measuring 7cm. Mr P had suffered a catastrophic rupture of his abdominal aortic aneurysm. A Serious Incident Investigation was performed. The report confirmed that there had been a failure to arrange vascular surgery in 2013, when the abdominal aortic aneurysm was first detected, and there was a failure in 2017 to diagnose the impending rupture of the abdominal aortic aneurysm.

The report found that Mr P’s death was preventable.

How we helped

Mrs P contacted the Medical Negligence team at Co-op Legal Services in 2018. Co-op Legal Services provided Mrs P with an initial assessment of her claim and took on the claim on a No Win No Fee basis. The case was assigned to Medical Negligence Solicitor, Daniel Comerford.

Daniel wrote to the hospital’s legal representative, inviting them to admit liability for Mr P’s death, but no admissions were made. So Daniel began work on proving the claim, by: - Obtaining copies of Mr P’s medical records - Taking a witness statement from Mrs P - Obtaining a report from an Accident and Emergency expert - Obtaining a report from an expert in vascular surgery - Preparing a Schedule of Loss to calculate the right amount of compensation

The outcome

The hospital’s legal representative eventually admitted the claim and offered to settle the claim for £45,000, which was less than Daniel’s valuation of the claim, and Mrs P was advised not to accept this settlement.

Following negotiations between our Medical Negligence team and the hospital’s legal representative, a settlement of £60,000 was ultimately agreed.

This was an incredibly difficult and emotional time for Mrs P, but with the assistance of Daniel Comerford and the Medical Negligence team at Co-op Legal Services, the claim was brought to a fair conclusion for her.

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