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Nottingham City hospital pays out for blunder

20/02/12: the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority has apologised for a surgical error that left a patient with cerebral palsy and has been ordered to pay six-figure compensation.

Stacey Jayne Smith of Nottingham suffered life-changing brain damage and nearly died when her heart stopped beating during a gall bladder operation at the City Hospital in 1988. Ms. Smith was admitted to hospital with suspected gall stones. During the procedure, her bowel was punctured causing her to go into cardiac arrest.

After admitting liability to 70% of the injuries sustained by Ms. Smith, the EMSHA will be paying an undisclosed sum approved by Mr. Justice Tugendhat in the High Court.

This case was very late in going to court. The proceedings were begun in 2008 although the operation took place when the now 24 year old Ms. Smith was a baby.

The family’s solicitor commented that the Smith family had been caring for Stacey for a long time without realising they had a case. Mr. Bruce Williams commented that it was thanks to public funding that the Smith family were able to bring a case which, under the current cuts to the legal aid program, would not be possible.