Case Study: Negligent management of glaucoma
David Gabell, Senior Associate and Head of Fosters’ Medical Negligence & Inquests team recently settled a case for a client, a gentleman in his early 60s, who had suffered severe loss of vision following negligent management of his glaucoma. David helped secure his client a settlement of £900,000.
Our client had a known history of glaucoma and was under regular reviews with his local glaucoma clinic. Glaucoma is a condition whereby pressures within the eyeball will rise to dangerously high levels if not suitably treated. It is not a curable condition, but with regular ophthalmic reviews and appropriate treatment, the condition is generally well managed with vision largely maintained.
Between 2007 and 2019 our client was under regular review with his NHS Consultant Ophthalmologist at his local community-based glaucoma clinic. Unfortunately, the consultant continuously failed to carry out important tests to correctly and accurately monitor the pressures in each eye. This meant that rising pressures in our client’s eyes went unchecked and untreated, resulting in catastrophic damage to his peripheral vision. By the time the deterioration had been fully appreciated, and his pressures noticed and relieved, the damage had been done. The damage caused was irreversible.
Our client underwent treatment to get his eye pressures under control, and with his care now transferred to a new unit, he is under regular review. His vision is unlikely to deteriorate further, but his life has been deeply affected due to the extensive visual field loss he has suffered in both eyes.
Due to the lack of intervention, our client’s vision had deteriorated to such an extent that he was required to notify the DVLA and was required to relinquish his driving licence in 2019.
In addition to no longer being able to drive, our client’s loss of vision has had a significant impact on his ability to carry out various day-to-day activities and he needs supervision when walking in unfamiliar and/or busy public places. He could move throughout his home with care, but without assistance he was unable to partake in his favourite hobbies of gardening, DIY, dog walking etc.
He was also unable to continue with his employment.
How did we help?
David took this case on and obtained early admissions of liability from the Defendant Trust. He then set about quantifying the claim for the client, which involved obtaining medical/quantum reports from the following experts:
- Consultant Ophthalmologist
- Consultant Psychiatrist (our client had depression and adjustment disorder)
- Care expert
- Assistive Technology Expert
- Accommodation Expert
With the assistance of the above experts, and KC Counsel (Lizanne Gumbel KC of 1 Crown Office Row, London), David was able to quantify and settle the claim for £900,000.
As well as compensating our client for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity, the money will ensure that he is compensated for:
- Past and future loss of earnings.
- Specialist care and assistance due to his sight impairment, including a case manager.
- Adaptations to his home environment to make it as safe as possible.
- Various technology and equipment that will make his life easier and safer.
Due to Fosters being a multi-practice law firm, our Trust’s team have also been able to advise and assist our client with the setting up of an appropriate trust so as to ensure his compensation fund is safely and appropriately managed for the remainder of his life.
If you, or someone you know, has been affected by medical negligence then do please contact our experienced specialists on 01603 620508, or email them directly to arrange a no obligation chat.