Children of Woman Who Died From Flesh-Eating Bug Win £170,000

Posted: 13th June 2012

The children of a woman who died after she was sent home from hospital with a flesh-eating virus have settled their High Court damages claim for £170,000.
The mother - who cannot be named to protect the identity of her children - was discharged from Torbay Hospital after what her lawyers described as ‘scandalously’ inadequate care.
South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, denies responsibility for her death, but has agreed to settle her two children’s damages claim for a combined £170,000.
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Christopher Johnston QC, for the children, told the High Court in London that the woman was admitted to the hospital nearly 10 years ago, complaining of hip pain and vomiting.

But, despite being in clinical shock, she was sent home hours later, after staff failed to diagnose flesh-eating infection, Necrotising Fasciitis, the barrister added.

Mr Johnston said that she returned to the hospital the following morning, but "the die was already cast" and she died following a cardiac arrest.
The NHS Trust argued that its staff could not have spotted the rare disease from the mother's symptoms, and that she would have died, or had a number of limbs amputated, even if a correct diagnosis had been made.
The children's legal team agreed to accept a settlement offer of £170,000 which will be used to pay for the on-going care their maternal grandparents provide.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Sweeney said: "I would like to express my sympathy to the grandparents for the appalling ordeal they suffered in watching their daughter die such a horrific death.
"I also express my humble admiration of the way in which, as pensioners now, they have risen so magnificently to the task of looking after their two granddaughters in a way which, in every possible way that they can, makes up for the loss of the children's mother."