Clinical negligence damages reach new heights
Medical negligence can sadly have fatal outcomes. A recent case involving a tumour shows that undetected conditions may not always be fatal, but can nevertheless have detrimental outcomes on the affected individual's life. A woman in her twenties has been awarded financial compensation after an NHS Trust failed to discover a tumour that made her grow taller than what she otherwise would have been.
20-year-old Kate Woodward's legal counsel told the court that her life had been "ruined" by the failure of the medical authorities to diagnose her. QC Stephen grime said that although she was still alive, it was not the life that she wanted and could have had.
Woodward aspired to become an actress, but struggled with getting into the industry. She claimed that her height of 1.96 metres (6ft 5in) was a major impediment to her career. It was not only her dream of being an actress that was shattered to pieces due to her condition; the tumour impacted Woodward from an early point in life, throughout her childhood she struggled with making friends as she was held back by necessary medical interventions.
Justification of high damages
The NHS Trust admitted clinical negligence, but was less than pleased with the high amount of compensation they were ordered to pay. The court awarded Woodward £1.3 million in damages. Judge Stuart Baker said that the high amount was justified in light of the fact that the claimant's life had been altered significantly through no fault of her own.
When it can be established that health professionals failed in their duty of care to patients then it is not uncommon that courts award high damages. Financial compensation can help sufferers to move on in life and pay for their treatment, but it is important to remember that the money does not cure their medical condition.
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- Last Updated on 03/08/2012