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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

North Manchester General Hospital has paid out a significant sum for failing to diagnose the leaking aortic artery, which killed 59 year-old William Farmer of Blackley.

His widow, Florence, described the treatment her husband received as ‘scandalous’.

“My husband was a healthy 59 year-old family-man who never needed to go to the doctor. He became ill very suddenly but the attention he received at hospital was very abrupt and I thought it was scandalous. If they had made the right diagnosis sooner he would still be here today enjoying his two grandchildren. I miss him more than I can say.”

On 20th March 2002 Mr Farmer, who worked as a security guard, had acute back pain and a distended abdomen. He felt so ill he called for an ambulance to take him to A & E at North Manchester General Hospital where, just 12 minutes later, he was sent home with painkillers having been told there was nothing ‘of significance’ wrong. The next day, still in pain, a locum GP told him he had a prolapsed disc in his back and prescribed more painkillers. However, two days later on the 24th March, after collapsing at home, he went by ambulance to A & E once again, where this time he was told he had constipation, but was kept in hospital under observation.

On 26th March his wife received a call from the hospital at 9pm to tell her that her husband was in a coma. He was prepared for surgery at North Manchester General Hospital and was transferred to Oldham Royal Hospital for surgery. He died on 27th March after surgeons tried, but failed, to repair a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

Now, after a four-year struggle, during which time the hospital has consistently denied they were responsible for Mr Farmer’s death, the hospital has agreed to pay an out of court undisclosed sum in compensation.

Personal injury lawyer Mr Stephen Maguire of Donns LLP, who represented the family, described this as a tragic case.

“Mr Farmer’s death could have been prevented if a proper diagnosis had been made when he first attended A & E. What makes it worse is that on his second visit they still failed to find out what was wrong. We have always maintained that there was negligence in the failure to make the correct diagnosis although full liability has never been admitted. The payout is hardly adequate compensation for the loss of a loving husband, father and grandfather but the payment indicates that the hospital rightly recognises they must take the blame for this death.”


Press contacts:
Vicki Baxter, Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506444 vbaxter@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:vbaxter@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes to Editors:

Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire joined the serious litigation team at Donns in 2005 bringing with him over 14 years experience in serious personal injury and clinical negligence law. Stephen has been involved in some very high value cases across a wide range of areas ranging from neurological/spinal injuries through to gynaecology and brain surgery negligence. Stephen is well know for handling such serious litigation and is familiar with the effect that such life changing events may have on clients.  As a result of this he has created a strong team of specialists that ensure all clients receive a high level of service, support and assistance with as little stress and inconvenience as possible.

In addition to handling individual serious cases Stephen has been involved in a number of large class actions, sometimes in the position of lead solicitor. These cases have involved large numbers of claimants pursuing an individual organisation for loss and damages running into many millions.

Stephen is a Solicitor High Court Advocate and is therefore specialised in handling court cases as well as day-to-day litigation. Unlike most Solicitors, Stephen is qualified to represent clients at all levels of the court system in trials and any other related court appearance. This enables him to provide his clients with consistent support and representation throughout the case. Stephen is a member of the governing committee of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates.

Donns LLP
Donns LLP is recognised as one of the leading specialist personal injury law firms in the UK, at the forefront of personal injury litigation dealing with claims both in the UK and abroad.

They provide expert legal advice in all areas of personal injury, accident and clinical negligence cases to ensure that they secure the maximum compensation in the shortest possible time. The firm delivers exceptional levels of client service through their highly trained and experienced legal professionals and cost effective approach.

With over 35 years experience in the personal injury marketplace they have an enviable reputation for providing quality legal services. They have attained and held both the Investors in People (IIP) standard in 1999 and the Lexcel quality mark in 2001.

Donns LLP has been awarded a personal injury and clinical negligence legal aid franchise and has also been granted the BSI Kitemark for quality.

Visit their website at www.donnslaw.co.uk <http://www.donnslaw.co.uk>


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