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Could Appropriate Medical Care Have Saved Your Loved One's Life?

If you believe that a loved one's death is attributable to a lack of appropriate medical care, you should consult a clinical negligence lawyer without delay. The point was made by the case of a troubled pensioner who lost his life after he accidentally aspirated prescribed medicine.

The 66-year-old, who had experienced mental health difficulties, inhaled the contents of his stomach, including partially dissolved tablets that he had been prescribed. He had alcohol dependency issues but, at the time of his death, the level of alcohol in his body was only about a quarter of the drink-drive limit.

His daughter and grandchildren took action against the NHS trust that bore responsibility for his care. They argued that, had a timely and appropriate mental health assessment been carried out, he would have been admitted to hospital prior to the fatal incident. It was agreed that, had that course been taken, he would have enjoyed an additional three years of life.

The case raised complex issues: given his health difficulties and disordered lifestyle at the time, there was, in particular, no agreement between medical experts as to the extent to which he could have provided for his family financially. Nevertheless, a £70,000 settlement of the claim was successfully negotiated, part of which would be invested for the grandchildren's benefit.

In approving the settlement as fair and in the grandchildren's best interests, the High Court observed that no amount of money could turn the clock back. Wishing the family well for the future, the Court noted that the man clearly meant a great deal to his loved ones, who were deeply affected by his loss.