Advising with empathy and experience

£781,000 and PPO for spinal cord injury.


The CNCI team have secured a substantial award for a victim of medical negligence who now faces a lifetime confined to a wheelchair.

The Claimant had long suffered from domestic abuse from her partner. During several assaults her neck was injured and numerous visits to A&E ended with a diagnosis of a simple neck sprain.

After one serious assault she was unable to move her neck or walk properly. She also had trouble emptying her bladder or bowels. The Claimant visited A&E and was told she was suffering from urine retention, constipation and a neck injury. Over the next few days her condition deteriorated and she lost all feeling in her legs. She even suffered severe burns after using a hot water bottle as she didn’t notice the burning sensation.

The Claimant returned to Scunthorpe A&E department and following examination she was transferred to Hull Royal Infirmary as an emergency. After a neurological assessment it was found that the claimant was totally paralysed in her arms and legs and she had no voluntary control of her bowels. An MRI scan also revealed a dramatic spinal cord compression.

Following diagnosis our client was transferred to a spinal cord injury centre where she spent six months receiving care and rehabilitation.

The claim was pursued against Scunthorpe Hospital. It was alleged that clinicians in A&E failed to perform an adequate neurological assessment. Medical evidence established that if the appropriate assessment had been performed the claimant would have avoided at least 3 days of persistent and increasing cord compression. Had the claimant avoided this unnecessary compression she would not be confined to her wheelchair and her condition would have been better managed.

 Our client is currently unable to walk and is confined to her wheelchair. She requires 24 hour care. She cannot prepare her own meals, wash or dress herself without help. Our client relies heavily on her two eldest children for help.

Shortly before the trial of the claim was scheduled we were successful in coming to a settlement agreement with the defendant hospital. The settlement provided our client with a lump sum of £781,000 and annual payments of £50,000 (periodical payments) for the rest of her life.

It is envisaged that the compensation will be used to buy and adapt a bungalow which will greatly improve her quality of life and allow her to live more independently. She will also be able to employ a dedicated carer.

Commenting on the claim, Richard Wood stated “From the outset we knew that the future care and accommodation needs of our client were vitally important. We were focused on getting the proper care, rehabilitation and support that our client needed to live a fulfilling life. These things are often overlooked by less experienced firms, so it’s important you get a specialist solicitor to handle your claim.”