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Legal 500

Mrs James (named changed to protect confidentiality)

Guy Pomphrey, specialist medical negligence solicitor at Minton Morrill, settled a Fatal Accidents Act Claim for £350,000 in compensation acting for the deceased’s family. 

Background

Mrs James, a married 50 year old grandmother, died following a heart attack in 2015. 

She had felt unwell throughout the day experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain. She telephoned NHS 111 on three separate occasions and each time was told a GP would visit her but an ambulance was not necessary. In the early evening Mrs James collapsed in front of her husband and son and suffered a fatal heart attack. She was still waiting for the GP to arrive. Despite the heroic efforts of her family (performing CPR before an ambulance finally arrived) Mrs James was later pronounced dead.   

Inquest

Mrs James’ family contacted Minton Morrill solicitors about her death. Our legal team represented the family at the Coroner’s Inquest where evidence was heard from the Defendant Ambulance Service (running the NHS 111 helpline) that staff had ignored protocol by not sending an ambulance to Mrs James when she first called complaining about shortness of breath and chest pain. The family were very shocked by this news.

Medical Negligence Investigation

Following the Inquest, Guy Pomphrey, clinical negligence lawyer, wrote to the Ambulance NHS Trust asking them to formally admit liability for Mrs James’ avoidable death. They admitted that an ambulance should have been dispatched straight away but argued that even if this had happened Mrs James still would have died because of her underlying health problems. 

We instructed experts in cardiology and respiratory medicine to prove our case. These experts were quite clear that Mrs James’ underlying health problems did not contribute to her death. We sent copies of these experts’ reports to the Defendant who eventually conceded and made a full admission of liability for Mrs James’ avoidable death.

Attention then turned to assessing how much compensation Mrs James’ husband, son and grandchildren should receive.  Mrs James was young, generally fit, working part time and providing substantial childcare to her grandchildren. A Schedule of Loss and supporting documents was sent to the Defendant with our valuation of the case. 

The Defendant disputed our valuation. Extensive negotiations took place (including a mediation meeting between both legal teams) before the case finally resolved for £350,000 in compensation which took into account the extensive loss of financial income and services that Mrs James’ would have provided but for avoidable death.

This was a tragic case. Guy Pomphrey took the original new client enquiry telephone call from the James family and then worked with them for over 3 years right through the Inquest and Civil Litigation process to help get them answers about Mrs James’ death. 

The Ambulance Trust has subsequently revised their cardiac calls protocol procedure.

Client Feedback

Guy Pomphrey was our solicitor, and within his role he acted with the utmost compassion and empathy. We are extremely grateful to him for his tireless efforts to reach the most reasonable outcome for the family. Guy would always ensure that communication was clear and comprehensive so as to eliminate any confusion or misconceptions which aren't uncommon when dealing with law. Through what has been the worst time of our lives, Minton Morrill have provided a safety net for the family which will bring that little bit of comfort after suffering the huge loss that we have. To sum up, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending the firm.

Medical negligence claim managed with the utmost sincerity, warmth, compassion and respect at all times. The team have worked tirelessly and relentlessly to assist us in bringing some form of resolution and closure that we can now begin to come to terms with as a family - Guy was exceptional in his dealings with us individually and extremely helpful. We are eternally grateful - thank you.

How we can help you

Guy Pomphrey and the medical negligence lawyers at Minton Morrill only practice medical negligence law and have renowned expertise in Fatal Claims cases. 

More information about Fatal Claims can be assessed by clicking here, and information about our team of expert lawyers and medical negligence found here.