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Compensation paid to family following avoidable death in local hospital
04 Aug 2021

A grieving family have successfully won their claim against The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust for failures in care which resulted in the avoidable death of Mrs Hodgetts, 74.

What was the Case?

Mrs Hodgetts was taken to New Cross Hospital by Ambulance in May 2018 due to bowel obstruction. She underwent emergency surgery later the same day, following which she rapidly started to deteriorate.

The following morning, she was taken for emergency investigative surgery, during which it was noted that she had suffered a pelvic perforation and laceration to the splenic capsule. She underwent an emergency splenectomy, however this was too late to save her life, and she passed away from Multi-Organ Failure the following day.

We were instructed by the family after the Coroner found that her death arose as a result of an accidental tear to the splenic capsule during surgery, and an internal review at the Trust confirmed that there had been issues with the care provided.

What was the Outcome?

Based upon the issues identified in the Hospital’s own report, allegations of negligence were formally sent to the Trust and liability for Mrs Hodgetts’ avoidable death was quickly admitted.

Substantial investigations were then performed to ensure that the maximum compensation was secured for Mrs Hodgetts’ family, and settlement was agreed at £55,000. As well as providing compensation for the pain and suffering endured by Mrs Hodgetts in her final days, the settlement included awards for her family for the losses which they suffered as a result of her death.

In order to secure this settlement, we worked closely with our Probate Team who were able to secure Letters of Administration for Mrs Hodgetts’ Widower, the costs of which were recovered from the Defendant within the agreed settlement award.

Chartered Legal Executive Michael Portman-Hann, who represented the family, said “This was such a sad case. It was clear that Mrs Hodgetts suffered immensely from her injuries, and her death was wholly avoidable. Although I am pleased that the Trust adopted a sensible approach to this matter, and we were able to resolve the claim quickly and on excellent terms for the family, it is clear that much needs to be done at the Hospital to prevent any further avoidable deaths from occurring. I sincerely hope that by bringing this claim, Mrs Hodgetts’ family have taken a step towards helping those changes be put in place as soon as possible.”

Mrs Hodgetts’ family have said how grateful they are to Michael and the team at FBC Manby Bowdler for their hard work on this case, and for being able to secure a settlement figure which was above what they ever hoped to expect.

Meet Michael Portman-Hann