Loved ones of those who die as a result of hospital negligence often understandably proclaim that there is no justice in the world. However, as one case showed, the right legal advice at least gives them hope of receiving fair compensation.
A successful financier was admitted to a private hospital for what was expected to be a fairly straightforward operation to replace a valve in his heart. The procedure turned out to be more complex than had been envisaged and, after open heart surgery, he was kept alive by a ventilator in the hospital's intensive care unit.
About a week after the operation, a nurse made a tragic error when she turned off a humidifier in the ventilation equipment. As a result, secretions built up in his airways leading to respiratory and cardiac arrest. He suffered catastrophic brain damage and his life support machine was switched off a few days later.
After proceedings were launched on behalf of the exceptionally well-loved man's widow and two young children, the hospital's operator swiftly admitted liability for his death. Following negotiations, it agreed to settle the family's claim for a lump sum of £2.1 million. In approving the settlement, a judge paid tribute to a devoted family and renaissance man whom he would very much have liked to meet.