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Saturday, 9 February 2013

Unashamed rant from one angry lawyer!

I went to see a new client this week. Nothing new there but in 30 years I have rarely left a meeting feeling more angry and upset.

Sharon, not her real name, is in her thirties. She first went to her doctors over a year ago complaining of heavy bleeding. She returned to the surgery over and over again. She was given medication for her periods. She was never examined or referred for tests. This continued for months until she stopped going because she felt a nuisance.

Eventually she developed severe pain and was finally referred to her local hospital. She was told that she had probably had kidney stones which had she had passed as there was nothing to see. She was sent home only to be back in hospital a week or so later with symptoms that were far worse. She had been bleeding consistently throughout this time. This time she underwent full tests including biopsies and was found to have a primary tumour of the cervix and secondary tumours in her bladder and lymph nodes. She was told that it was too late for any effective surgery but could have made a full recovery if she had been treated months earlier. She now has just a matter of weeks to live and will leave behind a husband and young children.

Her life has been ruined by an illness that could have been treated but for a series of blunders by the different doctors who saw her. I had to tell her that her case was very likely to win. But this is, of course, meaningless. She will never see the result. Her young family would rather have their mother than a good case. That was why I felt so angry.

Don’t tell me that this victim is part of any compensation culture.

Don’t tell me that her and her family should not take action because it might be a drain on the health budget.

Don’t tell me they don’t merit the full support of the state in pursuing this case with state funds – after April that right will be removed from her family.

Don’t tell me that this all about lawyers wanting to protect their own interests.

They are victims, full stop. They are not alone. Actions taken by politicians to make it more difficult for them to obtain justice are shameful.


  1. Steve, thanks for great post. You're absolutely right. Critics of our civil justice system all too often focus on the insurance companies and big corporations and fail to look at the injured victim.

    If more people looked at the injured victim and how their injuries affect them in their daily life and their families, I doubt we would hear much of tort reform, if ever.

  2. Great post. Thanks for expressing so well what so many of us that fight this battle on a daily basis feel. It is sad that big insurance companies have spend an untold fortune making lawyers and the victims they represent look like the bad guys in these cases.

    Fortunately, we have avoided tort reform here in Arizona (so far). I agree with Gerry that if people looked at the storis behind the lawsuits fewer people would support tort reform.

  3. Agree with both. It is when these so called reforms hit real people that the message comes home. Thanks for your comments.

  4. This is the type of post that is worth sharing to open up the minds of the people regarding the different systems that exist in the country. That was too bad for that victim, and I think she’s not the only person suffering from this situation. I believe that we should actually be of help to them, even though we are just common people, just to help the young fellows that will be left out in time.

    Maggie Malone

  5. Despite the terrible Stafford hospital case and apparently thousands of cases of the type you comment on above the NHS still just close ranks and force victims through lengthy court cases or just to give up, it is scandalous and the transparency we were promised doesn't exist. The difficulty for me is these type of cases get confused with the whiplash and industrial hearing type claims that really are in need of serious reform, but we have a one size fits all justice system.

  6. I have found this article so informative. It was a great post talking to the different systems that exist in the country. I am sure, that if many people could have read this, they will surely be aware regarding to this matter. By the way, my wrongful death lawyer phoenix says, thank you for sharing this!

  7. A lawyer will have to make a lot of decisions and his clients rely on him to make good ones. In order to make good decisions a lawyer has to have good judgment.

  8. Hi. I'm looking for a no-win-no-fee agreement with a lawyer but don't know where to start. It is commercial with some very personal aspects. I'm behind with my mortgage payments (because of this) so don't think I can really afford a good lawyer. The CASE IS WON in the sense that the statement made and the following action by the Planning Department, that caused the damage, has been changed to CONFIRM OUR POSITION. So far, the best we can elicit from them in our struggle to discuss compensation is, "We are looking into it." Our ACTUAL financial losses and costs amount to over £45,000. My personal losses are significant.
    1. To find an appropriate lawyer or company?
    2. To understand the implications of these contracts?

    I know it's not a comment, but I'm reading some things that try to put off no-win no-fee agreements.

  9. I can't completely agree with you Gerry. Many of the litigation teams fail to look at the injured victim but not everyone are the same. There are trusted and experienced litigation lawyers out there which can help you in this. All you have to do is research and find the best among them.

  10. Reparations are totally meaningless when it's tax payer's money and especially without punishment of the perpetraitors.

    another horrendous story on long list of them.

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