Vet Left Paralysed After Fall Down Stairs Guaranteed Big NHS Payout
A vet who was left paralysed and dependent on around-the-clock care after he was negligently manhandled by an ambulance paramedic after falling down the stairs at home is in line for a very substantial compensation payout from the NHS.
An ambulance was called by the vet's wife after she discovered him lying in the hallway at the foot of the stairs. The paramedic who examined him assumed that he had had a stroke. He had, in fact, suffered a grave spinal injury in the fall and should have been immobilised immediately to prevent further damage to his spinal cord.
Instead, he was lifted from his prone position, put on a sofa and wheeled to the ambulance in a canvas chair. Only after his arrival at hospital was his injury correctly diagnosed. The Department of Health admitted that the paramedic had been negligent but denied that this had caused the vet's permanent disabilities.
Ruling in the man's favour on that issue, the High Court found that the manhandling had worsened the man's condition and reduced his chances of making a good recovery. Even slightly less damage to his spinal cord would have significantly lessened his disabilities.
The amount of his compensation has yet to be assessed. However, his lawyers have valued his claim at about £2 million.