High Court decision on spinal cord injury secured
In association with leading law firm Moore Barlow, Aspire Law has successfully pursued a claim against paramedics after they mishandled a patient who had sustained a spinal cord injury, caused by falling down a set of stairs.
Richard Griffiths, who is now tetraplegic, sustained a spinal cord injury after performing DIY work at his home; found by his wife some hours later, an ambulance was called to help the family.
Unfortunately, paramedics failed to diagnose that Mr Griffiths had a spinal cord injury and mistakenly thought he had suffered a stroke; therefore this meant that no steps were taken to immobilise Mr Griffith’s neck, which is crucial in preventing the deterioration of suspected spinal cord injuries.
Aspire Law spinal cord injury specialist, Ciaran McCabe comments:
“Mr Griffiths was lifted into a sitting position, carried into the lounge and sat on a sofa. Thereafter, he was taken to the ambulance in a carry chair...It was only after he arrived at the hospital that the correct diagnosis was made – but this initial error had an impact on Mr Griffith’s recovery and long-term mobility."
The High Court agreed with Mr Griffith’s legal team and ruled that the manhandling had caused additional damage to Mr Griffith’s spinal cord; the judge said that even if a modestly higher proportion of neurones had returned to full function, this would have been likely to have brought significant benefits. The manhandling was concluded to have deprived Mr Griffiths of those benefits.
A number of damages to be paid to Mr Griffiths will now be assessed at a later stage, if not agreed.