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Lifelong care secured for severely disabled man after hospital legal battle
A family has spoken of their relief that their severely disabled son’s needs will be taken care of now and in the future after the High Court in London today approved a compensation settlement of £3.9 million following a hospital legal battle.
Amos Mason, 25, of Preston, Lancashire, was born with serious thyroid condition septo-optic dysplasia which went undiagnosed and untreated for several years. Despite numerous visits to the former Sharoe Green Hospital, tests which could have provided a diagnosis were not carried out. When Amos was 11 he collapsed and suffered devastating brain damage. His family contacted the specialist medical negligence team at JMW Solicitors for advice and an investigation was launched into the care he was provided with in the run up to his collapse
JMW gathered independent medical evidence that found that the failure to test and diagnose Amos led to his collapse and subsequent brain damage. Although Amos would have had disabilities if he hadn’t suffered a collapse JMW argued that these would have been far less severe.
Due to the complexity of the case, and the difficulties in distinguishing between the problems caused by the hospital’s negligence and those that Amos would have had anyway, JMW negotiated that Amos should be compensated by the North West Strategic Health Authority for 52.5 % of all of his injuries (both negligently and non-negligently caused). This agreement was approved by the High Court November 2013 and enabled negotiations to begin into how much compensation should be awarded to Amos.
This has now concluded with the court today giving its seal of approval for a settlement worth £3.9 million, which will include a lump sum to enable Amos’ family to purchase a suitable property for him.
The issue of how the balance of the award is to be paid is to be subject to a further court hearing which will take place once further evidence is obtained.
Sally Leonards, a partner in the JMW medical negligence team who is representing Amos, commented: “This was an extremely challenging and complex case so I am delighted to have helped Amos and his family to achieve the justice that they deserve. I am especially pleased that the award will help to obtain care for Amos for the rest of his life. Amos’ parents have devoted 25 years of their lives to his care and they should be commended for their unswerving patience and dedicated attention to him despite the immense difficulties they have faced.
“Amos has very severe disabilities and significant needs which makes caring for him extremely challenging for his family. He is reliant on a wheelchair, he is unable to speak and has severe learning disabilities and obstructive behaviour. Due to his thyroid condition he is significantly overweight and he is also very strong and demanding. He requires very specialist care and accommodation which this compensation settlement will help his family to provide.
“The decision to take legal action was not made lightly by Amos family but they felt there were numerous opportunities for doctors to prevent his collapse and brain damage which our investigation and independent medical evidence supported.”
Amos’ mother and full-time carer Ruth Mason, 48, commented: “It is such a relief for the case to have settled and to be able to start putting that side of things behind us and focus even more on ensuring Amos has everything he needs to have the best possible quality of life.
“This settlement will make a huge difference to Amos’ life and means we will no longer have to worry about who will look after him when we are not here anymore, which was a huge concern.
“Nothing can turn back the clock but we hope that if anything can be achieved through Amos’ case it is that awareness has been raised. It gives us hope that other children with similar conditions receive prompt diagnosis and treatment and might avoid disabilities of the severity that Amos has.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelly Hindle on the details below:
D. 0161 828 1868