Case Studies: Healthcare

£25,000 Damages due to Delayed Diagnosis of MND

O’Reilly Stewart Healthcare LLP have been instructed in a number of medical negligence cases following the recall of neurology patients of Dr Michael Watt, as seen in the case of client S.

In 2015 our client ‘S’ was referred to Dr Watt as she was experiencing numbness in her left hand. Dr Watt concluded our client was suffering from pseudobulbar palsy however our client had cared for her sister with similar symptoms and expressed her concerns to Dr Watt in their very first consultation, that she had Motor Neuron Disease, like her sister however her concerns were dismissed and left neglected as no further investigation into a MND diagnosis was carried out by Dr Watt.

Subsequent to this, Mrs S’ health deteriorated.  In 2017 Mrs S was admitted to hospital as she was suffering from pneumonia, which exacerbated her pre-existent symptoms of slurred speech, inability to swallow and severe weight loss. Within a few hours of her admittance, Mrs S was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. She passed away only 6 months after this diagnosis.

Mrs S was not recalled by the Trust however due to her family’s concerns regarding the delay in diagnosis,  they instructed our firm to investigate the negligent treatment and  avoidable suffering.

The family’s claim was that the omission of an MND diagnosis prevented Mrs S from receiving active intervention sooner, which would have significantly improved her quality of life and extended her life-expectancy marginally. The further effects of Mrs S’s rapid deterioration are reflected in the pain and suffering of her loved ones as they were left with no time to prepare mentally or physically for the upcoming events.

Breach of Duty was duly admitted by the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, in relation to the treatment provided by Dr Michael Watt. O’Reilly Stewart gathered medical evidence from an independent Consultant Neurologist in order to prove causation. It was concluded that the late diagnosis of Mrs S’s MND rendered the treatment she was prescribed, of minimal beneficial effect, which would not have been the case had Dr Watt considered the concerns presented to him by his patient and diagnosed Mrs S with MND at an earlier date.

Upon serving this causation evidence, an offer of £25,000.00 was put forward and accepted by our client.

The emotional gravity of this case was paramount to Mrs S’s family as their sentiment was to bring the truth to light, a promise which was made to Mrs S and achieved.

Client Testimonial: “I have to commend Dionne on her diligence and her hard work and genuine concern for us as a family.”

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