Clinical Negligence

Clodagh is routinely instructed in complex and high-value clinical negligence claims and is highly regarded for her representation of both Claimants and Defendants. Clodagh is skilled in negotiating settlements at round table meetings or in mediations.  She has achieved substantial settlements for her clients in claims relating to brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, quadruple limb amputations secondary to sepsis and loss of sight. Her practice has included interesting legal points arising in wrongful birth matters (Mordel), fatal claims (Rupasinghe), secondary victim claims (Werb) and vicarious liability / non-delegable duty issues in relation to allegations of sexual assault in respect of a deceased GP.

Clodagh served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA) between 2020-2022.

Selected Cases

  • TYU v Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust (2023): Clodagh acted on behalf of the Defendant in negotiating a settlement with a capitalised value of over £32 million in relation to a perinatal brain injury claim involving severe ASD, behavioural difficulties and mild asymmetric quadriplegia, with a long life expectation.
  • OLK v Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (2023): Clodagh negotiated a compromise on behalf of the Trust of a complex 19-year old case where liability and quantum was in dispute.  The Claimant’s mother had an undiagnosed vasa praevia which led to fetal exsanguination and brain damage during labour.  The case involved multiple disputes of fact and substantial issues on breach and causation.
  • EFG v Thomas (2022): Clodagh acted on behalf of the Claimant in respect of a claim relating to a nurse practitioner’s negligent management of an infected foot, resulting in a below knee amputation.  Complex issues arose in quantifying the claim owing to an unrelated stroke and related pressure sores and sepsis.  The claim was compromised for a 7-figure sum.
  • LB & others v Priory Healthcare & Others (2021): Clodagh acted on behalf of a Third Party brought into proceedings by the Defendant which faced a £22 million claim for negligent inpatient psychiatric care resulting in suicide, where the Third Party psychiatrist’s only role was taking a phone call to assist the deceased’s spouse in finding a private hospital to admit her husband.  After protracted negotiations, the Defendant ultimately discontinued against the Third Party, agreeing to pay his costs.
  • DS v London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (2021): Clodagh negotiated a 7-figure settlement on behalf of a Claimant who suffered an undiagnosed 3C perineal tear during a forceps delivery.
  • RTB v Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2021): Clodagh secured an early admission of liability on behalf of an infant in relation to negligent management of neonatal jaundice resulting in kernicterus and brain injury.
  • WGC v Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (2021): Represented Claimant in case relating to surgical correction of mild pectus deformity in teenager.
  • AS v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (2020): Defended against birth injury claim brought where birth occurred in the 1980s.
  • HHH v Kingston Hospital NHS Trust (2020): Defended against birth injury claim relating to perinatal brain injury (cerebral palsy).
  • Mordel v Royal Berkshire Hospital [2019] EWHC 2591: Jay J found in favour of the Claimant whom Clodagh represented in this ‘wrongful birth’ claim where informed consent issues arose and no screening for Down’s syndrome was carried out by the sonographer at the first trimester screening appointment and the reviewing midwife also failed to offer quadruple testing. Damages are to be assessed.
  • PXW v Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 840 Clodagh was instructed by D in perinatal brain injury trial alleging midwifery negligence where the mother had not been admitted to hospital during the latent phase of labour and when she returned later, the baby was delivered within 12 minutes of readmission, hypoxic, as a result of cord occlusion from descent of the head and rupture of the membranes at the end of labour.  The claim was dismissed both on breach of duty and causation and concerns were raised re two of C’s experts.
  • BS v Basildon & Thurrock Uni Hospital NHS FT (2019) Clodagh acts for C in claim arising out of maternal death of 38 year old woman with mid-term rupture of membranes, who developed sepsis as an inpatient and died. Claims under LRMPA, FAA and a secondary victim claim for nervous shock are being pursued.
  • KH v Dr H & County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (2019) Clodagh acted for C in delayed diagnosis and treatment of cauda equina syndrome case re management by GPs.  Negotiated settlement achieved against both Ds.
  • JD v WC (2019): instructed by C in claim arising out of physiotherapy manipulation to neck causing total spinal cord injury and paraplegia. Negotiated settlement of c.£4 million.
  • X v Y (2018): Clodagh is currently advising in respect of potential litigation relating to alleged sexual assaults by a deceased general practitioner and whether that GP’s surviving partners are vicariously liable and/or owed a non-delegable duty of care.
  • H v A NHS Trust (2018): Clodagh is currently instructed by C in relation to a perinatal brain damage case arising from delayed delivery as a result of alleged inappropriate management of shoulder dystocia.
  • M v Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust (2018): instructed by C in relation to ‘wrongful birth’ claim arising out of Trust’s failure to screen for Down’s syndrome.
  • A v X NHS Trust (2018): instructed by D re ‘wrongful birth’ claim re failing to arrange first booking appointment before 20 weeks’ gestation after mother was referred at 18 weeks’ gestation and then failing to detect heart defect (AVSD) at scan so Down’s syndrome was undiagnosed.
  • S v 2 NHS Trusts (2018): Ds instruct Clodagh re adult Claimant with learning difficulties, encephalocele and VP shunt who alleges delayed management of blockage to shunt and developed bilateral blindness.
  • C v Z NHS Trust (2018): C instructs Clodagh in respect of antenatal / perinatal brain injury linked to undiagnosed gestational diabetes in a high risk mother.
  • L v X NHS Trust (2018): D instructs Clodagh on this quantum only claim pleaded at >£30m re neonatal hypoglycaemic brain injury resulting in severe learning and behavioural difficulties, requiring 24 hour care.
  • Z v X NHS Trust (2018): instructed by D in relation to brain damage caused to 9 week old baby while at home, who had previously been admitted with apnoea and a bruise, where non-accidental injury was suspected by local hospital, but tertiary referral centre disagreed.  After being returned home baby sustained brain injury suspected of having been caused by carer shaking the infant.
  • SB v Dr YW(2018): instructed by C in FAA claim re 49 year old man who saw GP with symptoms which she attributed to flu, but referred him for ECG in 3 days’ time.  He died that night in bed. Settlement achieved at RTM.
  • MW v University of Leicester NHS Trust [2017]: instructed by D in consent case relating to optic nerve surgery which resulted in near-blindness and c.£6 million damages were claimed. Settlement reached at mediation.
  • NM v Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2017]: instructed by D in matter claiming c.£12 million re partial loss of 4 limbs and ischaemic bowel injury to 49-year old GP who required 24-hour care. Settlement achieved at RTM.
  • KF v Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust [2017]: instructed by D in this post -0.75% discount rate settlement of quantum only case re neonatal brain injury secondary to hypothermia and hypoglycaemia.
  • Justin Werb v Solent NHS Trust & The Priory Hospital, Southampton [2017]: instructed on behalf of the father of a 15 year old boy in his claim for nervous shock as a result of witnessing the immediate aftermath of the son’s suicide on a railway track after he had been released on home leave from psychiatric inpatient care. She successfully resisted a strike out application before Master Roberts.
  • Dr Rupasinghe (suing on her own behalf and as Administratrix of the Estate of Rohan Rupasinghe, deceased) v West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 2848 (QB), Jay J: widow of the Deceased not entitled to recover difference between her UK and her Sri Lankan earnings as a doctor as part of her dependency claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, following her husband’s death as a result of the Trust’s negligent treatment.
  • K v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust (2016): delayed diagnosis / treatment of a perianal abscess leading to Fournier’s gangrene / necrotising fasciitis and sepsis, requiring extensive surgery including a permanent colostomy; furthermore C suffered strokes and myocardial infarction, resulting in brain damage. Clodagh achieved a substantial settlement at a pre-trial RTM on behalf of K.
  • T v Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2016): substantial settlement achieved for T where liability and quantum remained in dispute relating to 6 year delay in treatment and diagnosis of 4th degree perineal injury, resulting in severe physical and psychological sequelae including faecal incontinence and sexual dysfunction.
  • C & H v Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (2015): instructed for D in substantial fatal claim re suicide of 32 year old woman with severe post-natal depression.)
  • Middleton v Allen (2014): (defended a consultant neurologist at a trial at which he was accused of negligently failing to diagnose multiple sclerosis in a 49 year old patient in 1997, resulting in an alleged 13-year delay in diagnosis and treatment. In cross-examination the Claimant conceded all of the disputed facts and his expert ultimately conceded, under cross-examination, that there was no breach of duty on the part of Dr Allen, nor causation. The Claimant discontinued mid-trial.
  • K v Dr P (2014): instructed on behalf of a GP in a claim for alleged failure to urgently refer a 44 year old man following a complaint of back pain when he had history of cancer by his spine and was at risk of recurrence, causing delay in diagnosis and operative treatment until after he had developed sensory and motor dysfunction, such that he was paraplegic for last 28 months of his life.   Breach, causation and quantum were in dispute. Clodagh successfully negotiated the Defendant’s position at a RTM, such that the Claimant discontinued proceedings shortly before the trial and agreed to pay the Defendant’s costs.
  • AXB v Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust (2013): FAA claim arising from death of 27 year old woman 10 days after son’s birth due to untreated pre-eclampsia. Father developed PTSD. Case settled and approved for £850,000 and anonymity order obtained protecting family’s identity.
  • Blacker v Dr Hillman & Royal Berkshire NHS Trust: delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer, leading to early menopause, chronic pain syndrome, psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, inability to work and substantial care needs.
  • Quelcutti v Luckraj [2010]: £800,000 settlement in a delayed diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome claim.
  •  Sage v Ministry of Defence [2001] EWCA Civ 190, CA: knowledge under s.14A Limitation Act 1980 in claim re: failure to inform employee of hearing loss.
  • Brown v Lewisham & North Southwark HA [1998] Lloyd’s Rep Med 265: application of key causation authorities in claim involving complex medical facts.
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