Case Study

Higgs' specialists help father of two secure £1.4m payout

6th July 2018

Higgs' specialists help father of two secure £1.4m payout

A father of two who lost his vision because of negligent medical treatment he received for Tuberculosis has been awarded a million pound pay out from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Wuttipong Sumsard contracted tuberculosis in September 2010 and was treated at Leeds General Hospital, but as part of his treatment was given some medication that resulted in him completely losing his vision.

After a six year legal battle, liability has been admitted by the Trust and Mr Sumsard has been awarded £1.4m payment and £85,000 per year to pay for carers for the rest of his life.

Higgs' Clinical Negligence specialist Clare Langford who represented Mr Sumsard, said: “Losing his vision has turned Mr Sumsard’s life completely upside down.

“He went from being a hard-working, independent man with a good quality of life to being totally dependent on his wife and also to a certain extent his two young children.

“He wasn’t able to go back to work meaning that he was no longer able to be the proud bread winner for his family, which hurt him very hard.

“It also meant that his wife had to increase the hours that she worked, as well as look after Mr Sumsard and the children: it had a completely devastating effect on the whole family.”

Mr Sumsard contacted Higgs & Sons, who instructed top medical experts. They examined Mr Sumsard’s medical records and concluded that the treatment he received for his TB resulted in him losing his vision.

Clare added: “We presented a strong case to the NHS to say that Mr Sumsard’s treatment had been negligent, and that as a result of that he had gone blind – something that could have and should have been avoided.

“Thankfully the NHS has now accepted that it was their wrong doing that resulted in Mr Sumsard losing his vision and we have been able to secure him the compensation he needs to get his life back on track and really improve the quality of life for him and his family.”

Mr Sumsard, who when he dreams at night is still able to see perfectly, said: “It is all very sad - my son and daughter are very upset that I cannot see. But thank you to Higgs & Sons and to Clare for all of their help.”

In a letter to Mr Sumsard, Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Following a thorough investigation into your claim, it has been concluded that elements of your care were not of the standard we strive to provide. There was a failure to respond appropriately to your visual disturbances and to discontinue your Ethambutol medication. This unfortunately caused significant sight loss which must have been devastating for you.

“I offer my sincere and unreserved apologies on behalf of the Trust for the failure to provide the level of care you were entitled to expect. I would also like to apologise for the distress these events have undoubtedly caused you and your family.”


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