Landmark compensation payout for woman brain damaged after surgery

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Posted 18/03/2010

A woman who was left with permanent brain damage after undergoing surgery for gallstones has been awarded a landmark compensation payout.

Grannia East, now 44, went into the Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport in January 2001 for routine surgery.

However, she developed serious internal bleeding and further complications and was rushed into intensive care at the Ministry of Defence-owned (MoD) hospital.

During another operation to correct her condition, medics tore her liver and Ms East almost died.

She also choked on her own vomit while on the ward and suffered a cardiac arrest.

The victim now has memory and concentration problems and needs full-time care for her own safety.

Although the High Court ruled in Ms East’s favour and deemed the MoD to be negligent in 2007, the organisation appealed against the decision.

However, at the Court of Appeal this week, the ruling was upheld and the MoD was ordered to pay £3.45 million in clinical negligence compensation, almost double the payout that was expected.

Ms East’s solicitors said this was a landmark case which will set a precedent for similar incidents.

Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, head of the Clinical Negligence team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “This exceptionally large award was made due to the young age of the patient – 35 at the time. The vast majority of the compensation will be used to pay for her long-term care needs which are necessary due to the catastrophic injuries suffered. One can only imagine the impact on her family”.

Compensation payouts for brain damage are usually larger than those for other injuries sustained as a result of clinical negligence, as they must cover the victim’s long-term care needs.


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