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Settlement Secured For Wife Of Man Who Died As A Result Of Negligent Surgery

Our Medical Negligence solicitors have secured a settlement for a client, Rebecca, whose husband died due to mistakes made during a colonoscopy.

In May 2010, Rebecca’s husband Matt underwent a colonoscopy, which resulted in an avoidable bowel perforation. This led to a number of serious medical difficulties, including wound sepsis, a small bowel fistula and an abdominal wound which had still not healed when he was discharged from hospital in October 2010.

Following this procedure, Matt required a tracheostomy - a small incision in the windpipe to assist with breathing. This was not closed until September 2011, leaving him unable to speak for nearly a year. From June 2010, he also required a nasogastric tube to eat and drink. Sadly, Matt passed away in December 2012.

After Matt’s death, Rebecca asked our medical negligence solicitors to investigate his treatment. We quickly informed the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust of the legal case against them.

Following an inquest in January 2014, the Coroner found that progressive respiratory failure - not negligence - caused Matt’s death.

Our solicitors believed more investigation was necessary, and instructed a number of experts to provide detailed reports on the case. The experts believed that the hospital staff had in fact mishandled the colonoscopy.

In August 2014, we made a formal compensation claim against the NHS trust, setting out the allegations of negligence.

In December 2014, the trust accepted that they had problems during the colonoscopy procedure, and that Matt suffered an avoidable colonic perforation as a result. They also admitted that due to his complaints of abdominal pain and other symptoms, they should have taken x-rays following the procedure, and considered perforation as a likely diagnosis.

Following an internal investigation conducted by the trust, Rebecca received a letter of apology in February 2015.

Court proceedings started in June 2015 and, after extensive discussions, STH made an offer to settle the case. Rebecca accepted this offer in March 2016.

Catherine Michel, a solicitor in our medical negligence team, said:

“This was a tragic case where negligent treatment sadly led to a man’s death. I’m hopeful that Rebecca will find comfort in the fact that the Trust have admitted their wrongdoing, and hope that their internal investigations will help to ensure this doesn’t happen again”.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a surgical procedure carried out negligently, our medical negligence solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation. Please visit our Surgery Claims page for more information.

The names used in this article have been anonymised at their request.

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