The High Court has been assured that lessons have been learned after a teenage mother died unnecessarily from a common illness following a call to an out-of-hours medical helpline. Her son was less than a year old when orphaned and the company which runs the helpline has agreed to pay him £300,000 in compensation for his loss.
The woman was suffering from a cough, sore throat and loss of appetite when her mother telephoned the helpline and spoke to a nurse. Her son's legal team argued that the nurse was negligent in failing to refer her to a doctor straight away. She died three days later after her condition developed into bronchopneumonia.
The company accepted liability for her death in full and agreed to a settlement of her son's claim. In approving the compromise, the Court expressed its heartfelt sympathy for the boy and his grandparents, who have cared for him since their daughter's death.
After the Court expressed shock at what happened, the company's lawyers gave an assurance that the circumstances of the mother's death have been scrutinised with exceptional care to ensure that such an incident will not be repeated.