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Delay in diagnosis

Bradley Garrett

This case highlights the delays caused by Defendants and their Insurers in dealing with cases of medical negligence.

Hannah Hughes, medical negligence lawyer

In September 2012, our customer, Bradley Garrett was admitted to Southend University Hospital with a two-day history of abdominal pain and rigours. His history of bicuspid aortic valve was noted by doctors. A physical examination was carried out on Bradley and showed some central abdominal tenderness and a ‘very soft systolic murmur’.

Further examinations were carried out on Bradley, including a blood test and CT scan. It was however noted there was no clinical evidence of endocarditis and Bradley was diagnosed with sepsis.

During Bradley’s time in hospital, no echocardiogram was performed. Unfortunately, Bradley’s condition did not improve over the following two years and he continued to suffer from fatigue, dizziness and migraines. His symptoms meant he was absent from work for a significant period of time before subsequently leaving his job in London and moving back to his parent’s home in Norwich, due to his poor health.

In August 2014, Bradley attended Norwich Hospital for a routine heart valve follow-up appointment. It was then noted he had severe aortic regurgitation, which was ‘likely related to endocarditis in 2012.”

Bradley, therefore, needed to undergo a tissue aortic value replacement and aortotomy with a pericardial patch. This operation took place in November 2014.

Following his treatment, Bradley chose to contact Fletchers to look at bringing a medical negligence claim against the hospital he attended in 2012. We obtained Bradley’s medical records and expert evidence from a Consultant Cardiologist and Microbiologist, which were supportive of Bradley’s case.

We finally settled Bradley’s claim for £35,000 in February 2018.

Hannah Hughes, a medical negligence lawyer who handled Bradley’s case said,

This case highlights the delays caused by Defendants and their Insurers in dealing with cases of medical negligence. On three occasions the Defendant’s Insurer advised that liability is denied and no offers of compensation will be forthcoming. This resulted in further costs being incurred by obtaining further expert evidence and issuing proceedings. The matter subsequently settled for £35,000 one month after proceedings were served. Defendants and their insurers should be encouraged to consider settlement at early stages of medical negligence cases to prevent unreasonable delays and avoidable costs being incurred.

Hannah Andersen

Case Lawyer

Hannah is litigation executive within the team she is responsible for drafting letters of claim. She will have an in-depth understanding of the case in order to draft the letter of claim, which will outline the formal allegations we are making. Hannah proactively chases a response to these letters and evaluates the quantum of the case. She will also collate and consider the customer’s losses, and negotiate with the Defendant if an offer of settlement is made.

Key Case Details

Bradley suffered from fatigue, dizziness and migraines for a period of 2 years whilst he remained undiagnosed. During this period he subsequently left his job and moved back to his parent's home due to his poor health. He suffered from severe valve damage as a result of the delay in diagnosis and required cardiac surgery several years earlier than he would have done had he received timely treatment. This has resulted in a reduction in Bradley's life expectancy of 4 years.
We successfully settled Bradley's claim for £35,000.
We know Bradley's compensation won't change what has happened to him but we hope he will now be able look towards the future more.

Further Reading…

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