Negligent management of Crohn’s disease

Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust

This claim arose out of a delay in performance of a hemi-colectomy (removal of a segment of bowel) in a man with Crohn’s Disease, such that his bowel perforated, he developed sepsis and subsequently a number of different fistulae (connections between the bowel and other organs or tissues) which proved very difficult to treat and which were unlikely to improve.

Supportive expert evidence was obtained from a colorectal surgeon and a gastroenterologist and, before exchange of expert evidence took place, a series of admissions were made by the Defendant so that ultimately the quantification of the claim was the only outstanding issue. However, this involved teasing out those aspects of our client’s condition which were caused by the admitted delay, as opposed to those aspects which were caused by his Crohn’s Disease, which caused the need for surgery in the first place.

The claim included a “double care claim” on the basis that prior to the admitted negligence, the Claimant was the principal carer for his wife who had COPD and was dependent upon a wheelchair and oxygen and that as a result of the negligence, the burden of both his and her care had been passed to our client’s children.

There were detailed negotiations as to quantification over several months, however the claim eventually settled at a round table meeting for the sum of £505K.