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UK Professional Negligence

In the UK, professional negligence claims for compensation can be made against any professional when they have displayed a poor professional performance which has resulted in you or somebody close to you suffering a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition. Medical practitioners, architects, financial advisors and members of the legal professional each owe their clients a duty of care and, when that duty of care is breached and you suffer a loss as a result, you are entitled to make claims for professional negligence in the UK. For further information about UK professional negligence compensation, speak dirently with an experienced solicitor on our freephone helpline.

Decree Passed to Provide Compensation for Spanish Mortgages

January 20, 2017

The government in Madrid has passed a decree setting out a timeframe for lenders to identify property owners entitled to compensation for Spanish mortgages.

During the Spanish property boom of the early 2000´s thousands of UK investors bought a property in Spain – taking advantage of low introductory interest rates on mortgages being offered by Spanish banks. What many people did not realise was that the once the introductory interest rates had expired, their mortgage agreements included a “clausula suelo” or lower cap on the minimum interest rates that banks could charge.

Consequently, when EURIBOR rates were slashed following the collapse of the property market in 2008, many property owners discovered they were paying the same – if not more – than before in repayments. Many property owners complained they had been treated unfairly, as the lower interest rate cap had never been explained to them. They also felt that the cap was only briefly mentioned among lengthy and complicated terms and conditions.

Some investors attempted to recover compensation for Spanish mortgages on the grounds that they were unfairly sold to them. However, courts often found in the lenders´ favour – agreeing it was the purchaser´s responsibility to read and understand the terms and conditions of the mortgage agreement. This situation continued until May 2013, when Spain´s Supreme Court ruled that BBVA´s lower cap clauses were unfair and said the clauses should be voided in ongoing mortgage agreements.

Following the Supreme Court´s ruling, more than fifteen thousand property owners brought a class action claiming compensation for Spanish mortgages. The claim was resolved in April 2016, when Judge Carmen Gonzalez found in the property owners favour and said that “quantities improperly charged” since May 2013 should be refunded. Her ruling attracted the attention of European Commissioners, who felt that, if a clause in a mortgage agreement was to be voided, compensation for Spanish mortgages should be paid for the entirety of the agreement.

Spanish banks argued against the Commissioners´ opinion – stating that, if they paid compensation for Spanish mortgages for the entirety of every agreement with voided clauses, their liabilities would exceed €4 billion. It was claimed by many in the banking sector that this level of compensation for Spanish mortgages would cripple the industry. The EU Court of Justice disagreed, and ruled in December that compensation for Spanish mortgages should be paid on full to each qualifying mortgagee.

Afraid that Spanish lenders could be faced with up to 2.5 million compensation claims at the same time, the Spanish government has announced a process for banks to pay compensation for Spanish mortgages over a three-month period. Banks are to identify each mortgage agreement containing the lower cap clause, and write to each customer with an offer of settlement. Property owners than have fifteen days to decide whether the offer of compensation for Spanish mortgages is appropriate.

If the offer of settlement is considered inappropriate and no agreement can be reached within three months – or property owners are not contacted within the three month timeframe – the “extra-judicial procedure” will be considered concluded. After this time, property owners will be able to claim compensation for Spanish mortgages through the courts. As some lenders have already stated they will not fully comply with the decree, and others are likely to mitigate their liabilities with inappropriate offers of settlement, we advise those affected by lower cap mortgages to seek professional legal advice from a solicitor familiar with the Spanish real estate market.

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NHS Medical Negligence Settlements Raise Concerns

January 14, 2013

The Chief Executive of the Medical Defence Union has raised fears that NHS medical negligence settlements of compensation claims are out of control and becoming unmanageable.

As she was speaking on the BBC’s “Today” program, Christine Tomkins said that the value of claims being made against the NHS being currently settled is increasing quicker than society´s ability to pay for them. “Money is pouring out of the NHS to set up one-patient institutions” she remarked “when it could be retained in the NHS.”

Ms Tomkins stated that legislation first drawn up in 1948 – the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act – does not acknowledge care provision available from the NHS for those who contract a serious injury and settlements of medical negligence claims against the NHS are therefore calculated with reference on how expensive it would be to provide care for the injured individual privately.

On the BBC program, she referred to the case of Charlie Scott, who was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic hemiplegic atheloid cerebral palsy after sustaining brain damage at birth, and whose mother was successful recently in a 14-year battle in the courts against the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust.

The medical negligence compensation settlement of £7.1 million, Ms Tomkins claimed, would be far less if the individuals calculating the value of compensation in NHS negligence claims could factor in their calculations the care available on the NHS. As per Ms Tomkins, the NHS Litigation Authority has periodic payment liabilities of £18bn – an amount sufficient to pay the annual running costs of a dozen large teaching hospitals.

Charlie Scott’s mother, Clare, was also invited to appear on the radio broadcast. Ms Scott acknowledged that some of the care and facilities from which Charlie will now benefit could be made available by the NHS, but told presenter Justin Webb that Charlie will no longer have to wait for social services assessments before being given the care he needs. Mrs Scott continued to say that the size and structure of the settlement allows the security of 24-hour care for her son when she, or the NHS, would be unable to provide it for him.

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Deadly Drug Blunder Led to Patient’s Death

July 4, 2012

The family of Albert Matthews, 65, formerly of Broseley in Shropshire, have agreed a 15,000 pounds hospital injury compensation settlement with the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, after they admitted medical negligence which led to Mr. Matthews’ death.

Mr Matthews had been brought to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford in September 2006, complaining of a shortness of breath. He thought to have pneumonia in his upper lung, hospitalised and given Tramadol and Haloperidol.

His condition continued to deteriorate, and several days later he was administered with 4mg of the painkilling drug Lorazepam. The cocktail of painkillers and sedatives sent Mr Matthews into respiratory arrest, which lead to cardiac arrest and he died the next day.

In the compensation case against the hospital, it was claimed that these three drugs were known to affect breathing when administered together, and that Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust had failed in their duty of care towards Mr. Matthews.

The Trust initially denied the claim – stating that appropriate medical treatment had been given – but have now accepted that the combination of drugs did lead to Mr. Matthews’ premature death and have apologised to the family as well as agreeing to a compensation payment of 15,000 pounds.

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Large Medical Malpractice Compensation Award Anticipated for Boy

June 12, 2011

A ten-year-old boy, who was brain damaged at birth due to alleged medical malpractice, has won his battle for medical malpractice compensation.

Joseph O’Reggio from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, was given birth to in April 2001 at the New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton. Prior to his delivery, Mr Justice Tugendhat heard at London´s High Court, Joe was starved of oxygen and suffered brain damage as a result.

The consequences of his birth injury left Joe suffering with cerebral palsy, wheelchair bound and trying to cope with severe learning difficulties. The Court also heard how Joe is unable to speak or feed by himself.

It was claimed in an medical malpractice compensation action against the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust that medical staff should have realised at an earlier stage that Joe was in distress and brought forward his delivery.

Although the NHS Trust denied that Joe´s injuries were caused by medical malpractice, they agreed on the day before the trial was due to commence to admit 80 per cent liability for the claim, which will now go for assessment of damages.

Mr Justice Tugendhat approved the medical malpractice compensation agreement, expressing his sympathy and best wishes to Joe´s parents.

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1 Million Pounds Heart Surgery Medical Negligence Claims Compensation

May 9, 2011

Two teenagers, who claimed to have suffered disability following heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary when they were children, have each had heart surgery medical negligence claims compensation awards of 500,000 pounds approved in the High Court.

Kristian Dixon (19) and Jessica Johnson (18) – were both babies when undergoing heart surgery at the hospital in 1992 and 1993 respectively.  Mr Dixon claimed that brain damage sustained when he was just sixteen months caused cognitive and learning difficulties, while Ms Johnson has required permanent care ever since her heart surgery.

It was alleged at the High Court that both had sustained brain damage due to professional misconduct by Surgeon Mr James Wisheart and hospital manager Dr John Roylance – who were struck off following a review into the deaths of 29 babies at the hospital between 1988 and 1995 – and Dr Janardan Dhasmana, who was barred from performing heart surgery at a disciplinary hearing in 1999.

Approving the awards, which were agreed by United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust without accepting liability, Mr Justice Owen commended the families of both teenagers for the devoted care they had given over the years.

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Rib Hospital Injury Claim Settled

March 16, 2011

A woman who woke from surgery to discover her right arm was paralysed, has settled her claim for medical negligence against St. James’s Hospital in Dublin.

Martina Coyne (39), had suffered all her life with the congenital abnormality of an extra rib. The rib caused her to experience pain and some discomfort in the right side of her neck and chest and, in August 2000, she was admitted to the hospital to have it removed.

However, on awaking from her surgery, Martina find that she could not move her right arm while at the same time it was causing her intense pain. It was claimed in the High Court that Martina had asked her doctors to amputate the arm because of the pain she was experiencing.

After investigation, it was argued, that damage had been sustained to the blood vessels supplying blood to Martina’s arm, and corrective surgery was required to mend the damage caused by medical negligence.

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Professional Negligence Compensation Claim against Barclays

January 24, 2011

Barclays Bank has admitted mis-selling a bond for investment to two elderly pensioners from Lancaster, and now face a professional negligence compensation settlement of 23,000 pounds.

The couple, Bob (73) and Lilian Baldwin of Waddington, Lancashire, were persuaded by the bank to put 80,000 pounds of their savings into a bond which was sold to them by the bank as being a cautious investment. The bond was, however, speculative and its subsequent underperformance lost the couple 14,000 pounds.

Mr Baldwin had to take legal action after several unanswered letters of complaint to Barclays chief executive John Varley, and only after the Baldwins had taken professional advice were Barclays prepared to admit their professional negligence, and offered the Baldwins 23,000 pounds in compensation.

Note – This is just one happening of mis-selling by Barclays, who were fined 7.7 million pounds by the Financial Services Authority in January 2011. It is estimated that more than 12,000 clients have been victim to their professional negligence.

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Operation Debris Leads to 350,000 Pounds Hospital Injury Compensation

October 21, 2010

A 36-year-old man has received 350,000 pounds in hospital injury compensation after part of a latex surgical glove was left in his throat following hospital surgery.

Wayne Williams, from Tooting, London, was admitted to St. Georges Hospital in South West London for heart surgery in June 2006, during which a tracheotomy was performed to allow him to breathe.

Wayne experienced difficulties breathing following the surgery, and was referred back to the hospital for throat surgery, during which surgeons discovered a small piece of latex left behind in his trachea.

The latex debris was admitted to not only have been the cause of Wayne’s breathlessness, but had also permanently scarred Wayne’s vocal chords.

St. George’s NHS Healthcare Trust admitted liability for medical negligence and the hospital injury compensation settlement of 350,000 was agreed.

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50,000 Pounds Medical Negligence Compensation for Dental Agony Grandmother

September 6, 2010

A 75 year old grandmother has been awarded 50,000 pounds in medical negligence compensation after dentistry malpractice left her in agony and unable to eat.

Mrs Jean Wall of Droylsden, Greater Manchester, had always dreamt of having a Hollywood-like smile, and after consulting with Droylsden based cosmetic dentist, Dr. Oscar Kwame Gagoh, agreed to a schedule of teeth bleaching, crowns and veneers, as well as treatment meant to straighten a crooked front tooth.

The work, which commenced in March 2007, meant that Mrs Wall had to undergo hours of treatment at a time in Dr. Gagoh’s chair, regularly having to have her anaesthetic topped up and with the sessions leaving her in great pain.

Despite Dr. Gagoh’s assurances that the work would be completed “in no time”, the sessions continued, and the agreed price rose regularly from 8,000 pounds to 10,000 pounds, and eventually up to 15,000 pounds.

Mrs Wall refused to pay any extra fees, and complained that the treatment had left her with burned and blistered lips, nerve damage and unbearable dental pain which prevented her from eating, drinking or swallowing properly.

Mrs Wall sought medical and legal advice, and had to undergo a further year of dentistry to correct the errors that Dr. Gagoh had made. Dr. Gagoh refused to acknowledge the claim of negligent treatment, insisting that he had done nothing wrong but, after a three year legal battle, his insurers agreed to the compensation payment.

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