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UK Professional Negligence Claims

In the UK, professional negligence claims relate to those made against a professional who has caused you an injury or loss due to negligence. Many people will relate UK professional negligence claims with medicine and health, but claims made against financial advisors, architects and even solicitors are categorised as professional negligence claims in the UK.

Due to the specialised nature of UK professional negligence claims, and the necessity to prove that the professional against whom you are making such a claim acted negligently, it is advisable to seek professional advice from an experienced solicitor.

Call our freephone injury claims advice service to receive expert help with UK professional negligence claims without obligation and in complete confidence.

Former Soccer Player Awarded Compensation for a Foreseeable Heart Attack

October 4, 2016

A former soccer player, who suffered a cardiac arrest during a game, has been awarded a £7 million settlement of compensation for a foreseeable heart attack.

Since the age of eleven years, Radwan Hamed (now 27 years old) had been associated with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Having developed his skills in the club´s football academy, Radwan progressed into being a regular player in the club´s youth team.

In August 2006, at the age of seventeen, Radwan signed as a professional for the club. Three days later, while playing with the youth team in Belgium, Radwan suffered a cardiac arrest six minutes into the match and collapsed.

Radwan´s heart stopped for several minutes, during which time his brain was starved of oxygen. As a result of oxygen deprivation, Radwan suffered permanent brain damage, due to which he can no longer walk or talk. He has also lost his sight.

Radwan´s father – Raymon – claimed his son´s heart attack had been foreseeable and Tottenham Hotspur should not have let him play in the match. He alleged that an ECG performed before Radwan had signed professionally for the club showed his son´s heart to be “unequivocally abnormal”.

On his son´s behalf, Raymon claimed compensation for a foreseeable heart attack against Dr Peter Mills – the Football Association cardiologist who had screened his son – and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. At the High Court In February 2015, Mr Justice Hickinbottom ruled the club was 70% liable for Radwan´s injuries and Dr Mills 30% liable.

The case was adjourned for reports to be compiled in Radwan´s future care needs and, at the High Court earlier this week, Mr Justice Lewis awarded a compensation package believed to have a combined value of £7 million. Announcing the settlement of compensation for a foreseeable heart attack, Judge Lewis said:

“Radwan Hamed was a promising young footballer. At the age of 17 he was playing his first professional match for Tottenham Hotspur. There is a system for scanning and screening heart defects in young footballers. Radwan was scanned and the results indicated he might have a heart defect. The compensation will need to compensate for injury and for loss of earnings. More importantly it will need to ensure his future needs are met.”

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Woman Awarded Compensation for Psychological Injuries Caused by Sexting

December 2, 2015

A twenty-year-old woman has been awarded £25,000 compensation for psychological injuries caused by sexting in the first injury compensation case of its kind.

The woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was a pupil at an independent special needs school in Sevenoaks, Kent, when she developed a friendship with the vice-principal and child protection officer at the school – William Whillock.

At first the friendship was innocent – the then teenage girl would visit Whillock in his office to discuss problems she was having at the school and at home. However, the two started exchanging late night text messages, and Willock requested pictures of her in her underwear.

Feeling that she was unable to deny the request, the woman started sending Whillock explicit photographs of herself. Over the course of the following year, the request escalated and the woman sent twenty photos of herself to the vice-principal before her actions were discovered by another teacher at the school.

Whillock was arrested and pleaded guilty to possessing indecent photos of a child, but denied that he had encouraged the woman to send indecent photos to him. Sir Robert Nelson – the judge in the prosecution case – described Whillock as a “wholly untrustworthy witness” and sentenced him to three years community service.

After Whillock had been convicted, the woman claimed compensation for psychological injuries caused by sexting – alleging that she had felt pressured into sending the images of herself, that Whillock should have known that the exchange of text messages and images would inevitably cause her psychological harm.

“I feel they are going to abuse me again” she told reporters from the BBC. The woman also claimed that she had lost her self-esteem due to the incidents and suffered from anxiety and, after a court hearing into her claims, a judge awarded the woman £25,000 compensation for psychological injuries caused by sexting.

Reaction to the award of compensation for psychological injuries caused by sexting has been mixed. Some legal observers have called the award ground-breaking and said that it establishes a precedent to recover compensation against an adult that manipulates a child into sending explicit images of themselves. However, an NSPCC spokesperson commented that education was equally important:

“It’s vital that there are serious punishments that deter offenders from committing these crimes against young people” the spokesperson told the BBC. “However, whilst damages could help discourage potential abusers, there is a danger that young people could just use this as a way to get cash by suing one another. It’s important for victims to get justice, but it’s equally important to educate children about not sharing this kind of explicit material.”

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Liability Determined in Swimming Pool Injury Claim

February 20, 2015

A long-running swimming pool injury claim appears to be coming to a close after a High Court judge ruled that a lifeguard and teacher failed in their duty of care to protect a ten-year-old girl from injury.

In 2000, Annie Woodland was a ten-year-old pupil at the Whitmore Junior School in Basildon when she attended a school swimming lesson at the nearby Gloucester Park Pool. While in the pool, Annie got into difficulties and nearly drowned. Annie was pulled from the pool and resuscitated, but she had suffered brain damage as a result of being starved of oxygen and grew up with severe learning difficulties.

Annie´s father – Ian – made a swimming pool injury claim on behalf of his daughter against Essex County Council as they were responsible for Annie´s school curriculum, Basildon District Council who were responsible for the running of the pool, the Swimming Teacher´s Association and swimming teacher Paula Burlinson, and the lifeguard on duty at the pool – Deborah Maxwell.

In the claim for swimming pool injury compensation, Ian claimed that Essex County Council had a non-delegable duty of care “in the capacity of loco parentis”, and that the education authority was vicariously liable for the alleged negligence of the swimming instructor and lifeguard. On behalf of his daughter, Ian claimed £3 million compensation.

Essex County Council denied the allegations, and in 2011 a High Court judge found in the council´s favour. Ian appealed the decision and took the swimming pool injury claim to the Court of Appeal, where Lord Justice Tomlinson upheld the High Court´s verdict on the grounds that the consequences of allowing the claim to proceed would have “a chilling effect on the willingness of education authorities to provide valuable experiences for their pupils”.

Undeterred, Ian appealed to the highest court in the land – the Supreme Court – and, in 2012, Lord Sumption found that Essex County Council did indeed have a non-delegable duty of care, and was responsible for the safety of a child during a National Curriculum lesson. However, it still had to be proven that the education authority’s agents – swimming teacher Paula Burlinson and lifeguard Deborah Maxwell – had breached their duty of care, and the case returned to the High Court.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Blake was told the circumstances of Annie´s swimming pool injury in 2000 and ruled that the two defendants should have noticed that Annie was drowning sooner than they did. Delivering his verdict, the judge said that Paula Burlinson´s failure to notice Annie in distress “fell below the standard of care reasonably to be reasonably expected of a teacher”, and that Deborah Maxwell “was not paying sufficient attention to users in the water”.

Mr Justice Blake adjourned the swimming pool injury claim until later in the year for the assessment of damages.

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Court Awards Compensation for Negligent Appendix Surgery

January 26, 2015

A barrister who specialises in medical negligence claims has been awarded £2 million compensation for negligent appendix surgery after a court hearing.

In 2010 Gerwyn Samuel (51) underwent what was supposed to be routine appendix surgery at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, North-West London. After the operation had finished, Gerwyn awoke feeling as if he was paralysed and was suffocating.

After calling out for help for fifteen minutes, medical staff eventually heard his cries for help and found that Gerwyn´s wound had burst. Gerwyn had to undergo further surgery to remove a blood clot and have his wound closed. Since his discharge from hospital, he has also suffered from a painful abdominal bulge.

Gerwyn claimed compensation for negligent appendix surgery from the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust: alleging that he had suffered unnecessarily due to the negligence of the hospital´s surgical team and – because of ongoing issues with his abdomen – he will have to retire at an earlier age thus suffering a loss of income.

The Royal Free Hospital Trust acknowledged that errors had been made in Gerwyn´s care but disputed how much compensation for negligent appendix surgery he was claiming. Subsequently the case was heard by Mr Justice John Mitting at the High Court.

At the High Court, Judge Mitting ruled in Gerwyn´s favour after hearing expert witnesses testify that the barrister will now have to retire at 55 years of age as a result of his injuries when he would have normally be expected to work until he was 60. The judge awarded Gerwyn £2 million compensation for negligent appendix surgery plus costs.

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Tree Surgeon Fined for Lack of Personal Protective Equipment

November 17, 2014

A tree surgeon has been fined £10,000 for the lack of personal protective equipment after he fell from height onto a colleague while still clutching a running chainsaw.

Gilbert Bradfield (71) from Clacton-On-Sea in Essex was pruning a four-metre high garden tree in Little Oakley, Harwich, when the section of the tree through which he had cut hit him and caused him to fall from a considerable height with the chainsaw he had been using still running.

Due to his lack of personal protective equipment, Gilbert landed on a colleague who had been footing the ladder and escaped relatively unharmed. However, his 72 year old colleague suffered a severe head laceration, a dislocated shoulder and internal injuries including a punctured lung.

Gilbert´s colleague – whose name was withheld – was in hospital for four days. Unfortunately, after being discharged, he collapsed at home – dislocating both shoulders and spending the next eight weeks in hospital due to a chest infection. Due to the injuries he sustained, he now has limited use of his arms and requires full time care.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Gilbert was prosecuted for a lack of personal protective equipment and breaches of the Work at height Regulations 2005 and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

At a hearing at Colchester Magistrates Court, Gilbert pleaded guilty to the charges after Magistrates heard that neither Gilbert nor his colleague were using ropes or harnesses to protect themselves from injury, and that neither man had a certificate of competence for using a chainsaw or for tree surgery.

The Magistrates fined Gilbert £10,000 plus costs for his lack of personal protective equipment, after which HSE Inspector Anthony Brookes commented “Tree work is a hazardous occupation and it is essential that the risks are recognised.  In the last ten years, 24 tree surgeons have been killed and 1,400 have been injured.  The HSE website has a dedicated area that provides advice on training and safe working methods in the industry”.

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Patients to get Compensation for Negligent Cancer Treatment

October 16, 2014

Twenty-seven patients of the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill have been advised that they will be entitled to compensation for negligent cancer treatment after an investigation into the hospital´s consultant urologist Paul Miller.

The Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust made the offer of compensation for negligent cancer treatment following an investigation into consultant urologist Paul Millar and a review of more than 1,200 patients he treated while employed at the East Surrey Hospital between 2006 and 2013.

The investigation was launched after fellow consultants and specialist nurses escalated concerns to the hospital authorities and it found that Miller had not “followed the advice of multi-disciplinary teams in carrying out established and recognised cancer treatments”.

The consequences of the consultant urologist´s negligence is that twenty-seven patients suffering from prostate and bladder cancer experienced an avoidable deterioration of their condition and preventable side effects, with the likelihood that the cancer will return in the future.

All of the 1,200 patients whose cases were reviewed in the investigation are being contacted to inform them that their medical records were accessed during the investigation, and the twenty-seven patients believed to be affected by Mr Millar´s negligence include a request to contact the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust “to enable compensation to be considered and paid”.

The Trust´s Chief Executive – Michael Wilson – said in a statement “Without a shadow of a doubt we apologise unreservedly for the care these patients experienced”. He added a helpline had been established for concerned patients and their families who can call 0808 168 7754 between 11am and 7pm Monday to Friday.

Des Holden – the Trust´s Medical Director – added that the letters will be deeply distressing to the twenty-seven patients and their families. He acknowledged that the care provided by the Mr Miller was below the hospital´s standards, and apologised to those who had suffered an avoidable injury or the preventable deterioration of their condition.

Patients and their families who have questions about how much compensation for negligent cancer treatment they might be entitled to should call our 24-hour claims advice service.

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Family Awarded Compensation for Fatal Injury in Flying Accident

May 29, 2014

The family of a fifteen-year-old boy, who died when the plane he was a passenger in collided with a glider, has been awarded an undisclosed settlement of compensation for a fatal injury in a flying accident.

Air cadet Nicholas Rice from Calcot in Reading and pilot Flight Lieutenant Mike Blee were killed on 14 June 2009 when the plane they were flying in was in collision with a glider over Drayton airfield.

Flight Lieutenant Blee had been assessed fit to fly by RAF Benson doctor Douglas Wyper, despite the fact that the pilot had a known spinal condition – ankylosing spondylitis – which could have caused his spine to snap at the slightest jolt.

An inquest into the accident in 2012 recorded a verdict of accidental death, and the RAF apologised to the family for the Nicholas´ death – acknowledging that Flight Lieutenant Blee´s condition may have been a contributory factor and that he should never have been passed fit to fly.

Nicholas´ mother – Julia Rice – claimed compensation for the fatal injury in the flying accident, but her claim was initially disputed by the Ministry of Defence on the grounds of time limits being in place for such a claim to be made.

However, Julia Rice pursued her claim for compensation and after her legal representatives threatened the Ministry of Defence with court action, an undisclosed five-figure settlement of compensation for a fatal injury in a flying accident was agreed.

Dr Wyper’s fitness to practice was found to be impaired at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal earlier this year, but no further action was taken due to the fact that Dr Wyper had been suspended indefinitely after the inquest.

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Compensation for Ruined Cruise Offered

January 27, 2012

Passengers who were on the Costa Concordia cruise ship which capsized on January 13, 2012, after straying off-course and hitting a submerged rock have had 11,000 Euros (14,460 dollars/9,180 pounds) compensation for ruined cruise offered to them by Costa Crociere SpA – the Italian subsidiary of Carnival Cruises.

 The offer of compensation for ruined cruise comes after negotiations between the company and consumer groups in Italy, and compensates any passenger who was rescued from the stricken ship that did not suffer any physical injury. Those that did will be approached individually, according to the company.

 The ruined cruise compensation is intended to cover the psychological trauma that passengers might have suffered on that disastrous evening in January, and for any personal effects they may have lost when the cruise ship went down. However, some consumer groups are not happy with the size of the offer, and are advising passengers aboard the ship to seek professional medical advice before accepting it.

 Those of the 4,197 crew and passengers who do accept the compensation for ruined cruise will receive their money within seven days, however the offer comes with the proviso that acceptance disqualifies passengers from making future compensation claims for injuries against Costa Cruises or any of its associated companies.

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