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Hospital misdiagnosis leads to £120,000 settlement for family

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Medical negligence solicitors in Oldham secured a £120,000 settlement after a failure by hospital doctors to diagnose a perforated duodenal ulcer leading to peritonitis and the sad death of a patient.

A 59 year-old man who was misdiagnosed and sent home from hospital died only hours after doctors failed to spot he had a perforated duodenum.

The family of the much-loved father and grandfather said they wanted lessons to be learned from his tragic and unnecessary death at the Royal Oldham Hospital.

How Pearson's Medical Negligence Solicitors Helped

The family instructed the medical negligence team at Pearson Solicitors in Oldham to search for answers.

Speaking of the case, medical negligence solicitor, Jacqueline White, said:  “This was a very sad case where the compensation was very much secondary to a family’s need for answers as to why their loved one died."

“They wanted and got an apology for the loss of a very beloved man as well as assurances that practices and procedures would be implemented by the Defendant Trust to ensure that such errors did not occur again,” she added.

The medical negligence solicitors were able to recover damages of £120,000.00 in respect of the families bereavement that covered:

  • loss of reliance upon the services he provided
  • loss of dependency on his income
  • his avoidable pain and suffering
  • the cost of the funeral and memorial

Medical Negligence Claim

The case began when our client attended the Royal Oldham Hospital Accident and Emergency department complaining of chest pain, epigastric pain, nausea and dizziness.

Investigations were undertaken into the functioning and health of his heart which revealed no abnormality.  The suspected diagnosis was gastroenteritis and he was encouraged to rest at home and take over the counter analgesia for ongoing abdominal pain before being discharged home.

Over the course of the next 18 hours he became increasingly unwell with sickness, laboured breathing and increased pulse.  He fell into an unconscious state and his family telephoned for an emergency ambulance.  Upon arrival at the hospital attempts were made to resuscitate him but sadly he died a short time later with his family at his bedside.  The cause of death was perforation of the duodenum with extensive peritonitis.

“I was instructed by the family to investigate a claim for clinical negligence damages.  Experts in Accident and Emergency Medicine and General Surgery were instructed to advise on breach of duty of care and causation.  They both confirmed that his gastrointestinal symptoms should have been investigated once a cardiac problem was ruled out.

“Had further investigations been undertaken then a diagnosis of a perforated duodenal ulcer would have  been made and surgery would have been undertaken before my client developed peritonitis,” said Jacqueline.

On the balance of probabilities, it was said that had he been admitted to hospital and referred urgently to the General Surgeons and operated on that day (all of which would have been possible) then he would likely be with his loving family today.

The Defendants, The Pennine Acute Trust, admitted liability and a settlement of £120,000.00 was reached without the need for further painful Court proceedings to the family.

If you or a family member have been impacted by medical negligence then it is important to speak to one of our expert solicitors.  The medical negligence team only practices in this very specialised area of the law and have a track record of securing settlements for clients suffering as a result of medical negligence.

Call for a no obligation chat with Jacqueline White and the team on 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Jacqueline White


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