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Shoosmiths was approached only weeks before the expiry of the limitation period, for making such claims by a family whose loved one had died while a resident in a care home.
She was found on the floor having hit her head on a commode at some point during the night and suffered a fatal subdural haematoma. However, this was not discovered until 8.30 am because, for a period of over six hours, the nursing staff failed to carry out full, regular, recorded nursing observations as required. When she was finally found prostrate by staff an ambulance was not called until some 30 minutes later. She died in hospital the next morning.
The coroner’s inquest into her death concluded that, the failures of the care home staff to carry out those observations contributed to her death in that, had they done so, she would have discovered much sooner. The resulting delays made her chances of a successful, potentially life-saving, surgical intervention far less likely.
We issued a protective claim form immediately given how close we were to the end of the limitation period and a letter of claim using some of the information revealed at inquest was sent to the care home. Following negotiations, settlement was achieved and the case was concluded within four months, which is very quick for cases of this nature. We also arranged press coverage at the time so that the family could put their story across to highlight their concerns.