Clinical negligence team achieves successful outcomes for cases rejected by other firms

Posted: 27/07/2015


The Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team is regularly asked to take on cases which are either being handled or have been rejected by other law firms. While we cannot assist in some cases – either because of prospects of the case or because we feel that it is not in the client’s interests to transfer their case - we do take on some of these cases. Below are a selection of recent examples where we have not only been able to progress a claims but also to recover damages for the client: 

  • A claimant who had received care from a surgeon had been advised by previous solicitors that, after their review of the case, it had insufficient prospects. As we are the lead solicitors in handling a number of claims against this surgeon, we have assessed her case based on our knowledge, agreed to take it on and anticipate recovering damages for her.
  • A permanently disabled claimant who was past her 21st birthday was seeking to claim for events that happened when she was a teenager. She had been rejected by a number of firms but we felt that she had a good date of knowledge argument and that, given the severity of her injuries, we would take on the case. The defendant trust agreed our position on limitation and has just made an admission of liability. Our client is now likely to recover substantial damages.
  • We have helped parents who were advised that, as their child had died very shortly after birth, there was no claim. We advised them throughout an inquest into their child’s death and have recovered damages for them.
  • A client who suffered a delay in diagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome and permanent damage as a result had made a complaint to the trust who advised him that no errors had been made. Based on this, two other firms turned him down. He was advised that we have a team specialising in Cauda Equina claims and asked us to take on his claim. We have just secured a full admission of liability.
  • A client who suffered extensive damage as a result of issues during the performance of an appendectomy came to us after previous solicitors did not obtain expert evidence on the case and proposed to discontinue it when the case was denied by the trust. We have issued court proceedings to protect our client’s position and obtained supportive expert evidence. 

Philippa Luscombe, partner in the clinical negligence team comments: “Our team has always had a reputation for being prepared to take on difficult but valid claims and for not giving up easily. Clinical negligence claims are subject to rigorous tests in order to succeed and many people with concerns about their medical care do not have grounds for a claim. But many people have cases turned away without proper assessment or have cases taken on but discontinued as soon as the case is contested. 

“The recent funding changes play a significant part in this – particularly for those firms who are trying to attract clinical negligence work by not charging their clients. Those firms can only take on very strong cases and quickly drop or settle cases that are difficult. With all of the examples above, if the clients had not come to us, they would have ended up with no claim and no recovery of damages for treatment costs, reduced earning capacity etc.  

“We can assist these clients because our teams have sub specialist knowledge such as in Cauda Equina cases and cases involving management of appendicitis. We can make an assessment of these cases and decide if they have merit and should be taken on. We are always happy to talk to people who are not happy with the advice given on their existing claim or whose claims have been rejected. If we can see a basis for a case we will help where we can. For those suffering serious injuries, a second opinion is always worth considering given the potential outcome.”


Return to news headlines

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