Claimant sells his MRSA claim for £1 to widow
- AuthorJudith Thomas-Whittingham
It has been reported that Jenny Simpson, from Norwich, has paid £1 for the "right" to take over the compensation case of former hospital patient Alan Catchpole, who contracted an MRSA infection whilst undergoing surgery in 2005.
If Jenny Simpson is successful in her appeal, this would open up litigation and enable more individuals to pursue someone else's NHS compensation case.
A spokesperson for the NHS Litigation Authority said. "It's the only claim of its type." The authority is funding the hospital trust's defence.
The NHS Litigation Authority have paid out £827m in claims and costs last year, and warned that if Simpson's case succeeds it would be a "worrying development" that could lead to claims "being traded like commodities".
The court of appeal was told that Mr Catchpole had decided not to pursue any claim himself. Mrs Simpson, whose late husband John was also diagnosed with MRSA while being treated for cancer at the same hospital, wanted to use the other man’s case to highlight alleged failures to stamp out the infection.
Simon Redmayne, representing Simpson, said her motive was not financial, but to see the hospital's infection control procedures tested in court and to "heighten the appreciation within the hospital that it needs to deal with MRSA".
Despite the ongoing action, Jeremy Morgan QC, for the Trust, has commented that it was against “public policy” for Mrs Simpson to be able to step into Mr Catchpole’s shoes and pursue his damages claim herself.
Although he now has no direct interest in the case, the court heard Catchpole "cares about the result" and would like an apology from the allegedly negligent trust.
Judgment has been reserved until a later date.
If you have suffered potentially negligent treatment and would like to investigate this, we have a dedicated team of clinical negligence solicitors who are able to assist and advise if you have a claim. If you would like to discuss a potential claim with us, please call us for free initial advice on 0844 245 6602.
By clinical negligence specialist, Stacy Albrighton