Case studies

Settlement for stroke resulting from Legionnaire’s Disease during cancer treatment

Our client had been admitted to Guy’s Hospital with complications following treatment for throat cancer. During his stay in hospital, he contracted Legionnaire’s Disease due to contamination on one of the wash basins. Three weeks later, while recovering from the effects of the infection, he suffered a stroke leaving him with severely disabling injuries. Our client was forced to sell his home and move to much smaller, ground-floor accommodation. He will require a significant amount of daily care for life.

The trust admitted early on in the claim that our client had been exposed to the Legionnaire’s Disease as a result of its negligence but it adamantly denied that this was in any way related to the stroke our client had suffered as  we were alleging.  We obtained supportive expert evidence that the infection acquired was a material factor in him suffering the stroke but this was far from straightforward.

Our experts were able to support a link between the infection from Legionnaire’ Disease and the stroke but were unable to say that the Legionnaire’s had actually caused the stroke.  This was because our client was also suffering from another infection, caused by the non-negligent acquisition of pseudomonas, at exactly the same time and this, on its own, could have caused the stroke.  To complicate matters further, the trust’s argument was that the stroke was not related to the two infections but was due to our client’s other underlying risk factors.  What was not, however, in dispute was the extent of our client’s disability.

Despite maintaining a blanket denial that the infection caused by the Legionnaire’s Disease was in any way causative of the stroke, we managed to obtain a substantial settlement for our client, only three weeks before the case was due to go to trial.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP