[2008] LTLPI 7.12.09

Deceased was admitted to Defendant hospital after sustaining a fall but Trust failed to identify subluxation of cervical spine and discharged Deceased. He re-attended over two weeks later when further imaging was conducted and fracture diagnosed. Cervical collar was fitted which caused significant pain and within two hours Deceased had started to lose feeling in his limbs and body, potentially exacerbated by repositioning to conduct further MRI. His symptoms developed into persistent quadriplegia and a month later he fell unconscious and died the following day.

Inquest concluded the significant cause of death was from quadriplegia caused by fitting of the collar which had led to sudden and dangerous reduction of the subluxation. Claimant, daughter of the Deceased, brought proceedings on behalf of her father’s estate and in her own regard alleging Trust’s negligent treatment of her father caused her to suffer psychiatric injuries. Claimant served evidence in support of her psychiatric injury which gave a prognosis of recovery within three years and five months following cognitive behavioural therapy.

Out of court settlement: £25,000 (estimated General Damages for Claimant’s psychiatric injury £3,750).