Medical professionals work under great pressure and mistakes are sadly inevitable – but if their negligence causes injury, it is only right that victims are compensated. In one case, the bereaved family of a woman who died following an anaesthetic accident on the day of her only child's birth received seven-figure damages.
The NHS trust that ran the hospital where the woman was undergoing obstetric treatment admitted that there was a negligent delay in resuscitating her following the accident. That resulted in catastrophic brain damage, which caused her death about three years later. Her baby, a little girl, was born uninjured.
The trust admitted liability for the tragedy and, after action was taken on behalf of the woman's widower and five-year-old daughter, it agreed to settle their clinical negligence claim for a £1 million lump sum. Of that total, £17,500 would be invested for the daughter's benefit and given to her on her 18th birthday. In approving the settlement, the High Court noted that it is notoriously difficult to place a financial value on the loss of a mother's love and services to her family.