Michelmores’ Clinical Negligence Team settle another Bristol cardiac surgery claim

The woman, Miss P, who cannot be named for legal reasons, underwent open heart surgery in March 1990 to treat  the congenital heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot which required a two-stage repair. Diagnosis was made shortly after birth and no criticism was made of the initial palliative treatment. 

The operation was carried out by Mr Janardan Dhasmana, who was later found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council.  It is understood he refused to take any part in the legal case of Miss P.

Miss P's solicitor  was clinical negligence expert Laurence Vick, a partner with national specialists Michelmores.  Laurence Vick has been involved in the Bristol cases for more than 12 years, and led the families' legal team at the subsequent public inquiry.  He was assisted in running Miss P's case by another member of his team,  non-practising  barrister Michael Vian Clark

'Despite all the known facts about what happened at Bristol Royal Infirmary, the subsequent high profile and damning public inquiry and the fact that the surgeon was acknowledged as being incompetent, the Trust  insisted on fighting this case on all fronts,' says Laurence Vick.

'They only agreed to settle little more than a month ago, as the scheduled trial grew imminent.  Yet throughout this period Miss P's family have had to struggle on and support her as best they could.

'In spite of the financial burden they have had to carry, they have had no support from the hospital because the hospital maintained its denial of liability.

'At the time of the scandal the focus was on those children who died.  So those cases were quickly settled following the inquiry which published its report in 2001.

'But the forgotten families are those whose children were left with brain damage, like Miss P.  She suffers a range of behavioural and cognitive problems and has significant learning difficulties. She has a movement disorder, a condition known as ataxic cerebral palsy, and is unable to coordinate her muscular movements.'

In a brief statement, Miss P's mother said:

'We are naturally relieved this is all over and now we want to move on.  But of course nothing will bring back the daughter I had before her injury. We are very pleased with the  professionalism and dedication shown by our legal team and the attention given to the case by Laurence Vick and Michael Viam Clark and our Counsel Simeon Maskrey QC and Adam Korn both of 7 Bedford Row.'