Lady receives £1 million compensation following mismanagement of Herpes Simplex Encephalitis (HSE)

Our client, JN, was 52 years old when she presented to hospital with headache, vomiting, generalised abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Members of her family remember that she was also confused and that this was reported to the clinical staff. JN’s condition deteriorated and two days later a suspected diagnosis of HSE was reached. Treatment with acyclovir was commenced a day later.

Two months later, our client was discharged to a rehabilitation centre for neurorehabilitation and, following this, she was discharged home to her family. She has continued to suffer with concentration and memory impairment, fatigue, personality change and irritability. She had been a demonstrator for professional goods and had been looking after her grandchildren but is now dependent on care and support provided by her family.

Clinical negligence solicitors were instructed and following review by independent medical experts, the Claimant’s case was that HSE should have been suspected on admission to hospital and treatment with acyclovir started the same day. This would have resulted in JN making a good recovery in a shorter time period and with only minor persisting cognitive problems.

Proceedings were issued and served. It was admitted that JN was suffering from HSE and that an insufficient dose of acyclovir was given when it was commenced. Everything else remained in dispute and a limitation defence was pleaded.

Shortly after the Defence was received solicitors instructed for the Trust made an offer to settle the claim for £1,000,000 as well as the family’s legal costs.

The claim was conducted by Moore Blatch solicitors: Mr Tim Spring and Dr Mala Sidebottom. Nigel Spencer Ley, of Farrar’s Building, was instructed. The compensation includes awards for loss of earnings, care provided by the family and deputyship.

JN’s Litigation friend said:

“Tim Spring explained everything in non-legal terms and made us, particularly my mum, feel comfortable. He, Nigel and Mala have been great and gave very clear advice about, and during, the process. Mum is very pleased with the outcome.”

Mala Sidebottom said:

“Although the family have had to wait a long time to secure compensation for JN it was helpful that an offer to settle was made relatively early on in the proceedings. I hope that this compensation will allow our client to obtain the care and support that she needs.”