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€550,000 interim settlement awarded to family of man in permanent coma

Robert Bolton (aged 71) underwent surgery on his oesophagus on 3rd October 2011 at St. James’ Hospital.  The following day, he suffered a heart attack due to respiratory failure as a result of sepsis, although the surgery had been deemed a success.

Mr. Bolton went into a permanent coma, is unable to speak or communicate, is unaware of his family and will need around the clock specialised care.

Mr. Bolton’s wife, Angela made a claim for failure to diagnose sepsis and failure to identify the symptoms of sepsis-related organ failure.

The hospital, conceded their failure in the standard of care but contested the claim for failure to diagnose sepsis.  An interim settlement of €550,000 was agreed for Mr. Bolton’s care for two years, but the settlement had to be approved by a Judge as the claim for failure to diagnose sepsis had been made on behalf of a Plaintiff unable to represent himself.

At the High Court, Mr. Justice Cross approved the interim settlement after Mr. Bolton’s wife, Angela, confirmed that they were happy that his care would be provided for.

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