£735,000 compensation for stroke-related paralysis
In 2014 compensation of £735,000 was awarded to a 41 year old woman who suffered brain injuries and a stroke leading to left-sided paralysis following persistent headaches misdiagnosis by her GP five years earlier.
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The claimant suffered persistent headaches and heaviness in her left arm. She attended her GP for treatment. She was diagnosed with a migraine and prescribed painkillers.
The lady continued to suffer headaches. Three weeks after seeing her GP she experienced complete weakness in her left side with a numb lip and drooling. Her GP could not see her for two days. At the appointment the GP suspected diabetes and arranged blood tests but failed to check her blood pressure.
Ten days later the claimant woke having suffered a stroke while sleeping. Her left side was paralysed. She was admitted to hospital where a CT scan was performed. Damage to the right frontal lobe of her brain was confirmed.
She was transferred to another hospital where an MRI scan was performed. The scan showed stroke damage in the form of a right carotid dissection with multiple micro emboli in the right middle cerebral artery. Treatment with anticoagulants was commenced.
The claimant was left with very significant weakness in her left side. Her arm was affected most and she effectively lost the use of her left hand.
The lady moved from Birmingham to Middlesborough to be nearer her family. She relied on family members to help with everyday household tasks. Her condition was unlikely to improve and she would require care on a permanent basis.
She was unable to work and her partner gave up work to care for her. The rented property they moved to was not suitable as it was too small and her disability made moving around it difficult.
Care experts advised the claimant should receive physiotherapy and occupational therapy at home. She would need extra space at her home for this.
It was hoped the claimant would be able to retrain and be able to return to part-time work in time. however, her injuries would create a significant disadvantage in the labour market.
It was maintained that the defendant was clinically negligent in failing to carry out a proper examination initially. A proper history of her neurological symptoms was not taken.
Her headaches were not taken into account despite having no history of migraines. The defendant had failed to consider the possibility of a stroke. Aspirin, heparin or similar medication should have been prescribed.
It was further alleged the failure to refer her to the TIA clinic or a neurologist on an urgent basis was negligent.
The claimant suffered a stroke. Significant brain injuries were caused. She was left with left side weakness and a virtually useless left hand.
She would require care and would find it difficult to secure work.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was admitted and the matter concluded without progressing to a Court hearing.
Compensation of £735,000 was accepted by way of an out of Court settlement.
£50,000 was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
Past losses generally were awarded in the sum of £75,000.
£180,000 was attributed to future care costs.
Future loss of earnings of £171,000 was accepted.
£214,000 was awarded for accommodation expenses including adapting her property.
Equipment needed for treatment and living was agreed in the sum of £30,000.
£7,000 was allocated to transport costs.
Pension losses were agreed at £8,000.
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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.