03 August 2012
Woman granted £1.3m clinical negligence compensation
A seven-figure sum of compensation has been awarded to a woman on the basis that clinical negligence has made her fell like a "freak".
Kate Woodward was granted damages totalling £1.3 million following a case heard at the High Court in London after she took legal action against the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
The 20-year-old sued the organisation because a tumour that went undiagnosed - despite the fact she underwent treatment at both the St James's University Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary - resulted in her growing to a height of 6ft 5in.
Ms Woodward - who is now studying for a degree in screenwriting and production - claimed this resulted in her having to give up a lifelong ambition of becoming an actor, as well as causing her significant health problems.
The NHS trust, which was formed in 1998, accepted its failures and admitted its negligence was to blame for the woman's health issues, but insisted the damages award should only be around £700,000.
However, Stephen Grime QC, representing Ms Woodward in court, insisted the case should be approached with the attitude that the body's inadequacies "ruined" the claimant's life.
"Not taken away, not completely ruined, not in the same category as a brain-damaged tetraplegic, but in a whole series of ways her life has been grievously affected," he added.
Mr Grime went on to say that Ms Woodward's health issues disrupted her childhood by affecting her schooling.
Judge Stuart Baker agreed with this summation and, when announcing his ruling, said her life has "undoubtedly been severely affected to a very great extent" and will now always be "very different from what she might otherwise reasonably have expected to look forward to".
Consequently, the judge decided that a clinical negligence settlement of £1.3 million is adequate, despite the trust's claims to the contrary.
Contact our clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like advice on any medical negligence matter
Posted by Francesca Witney
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