Lawyers Step In to Protect Negligence Victim Prey to Gambling Addiction

14th April 2022 By

The intense vulnerability of many negligence victims requires lawyers to take careful steps to protect them from exploitation by others and the consequences of their own poor decision-making. A case on point concerned a recipient of a seven-figure compensation award who was prey to a gambling addiction.

Medical staff decided to induce labour after the woman’s child tragically died in utero at about 33 weeks’ gestation. A high dose of a labour-inducing drug led to catastrophic uterine rupture and cardiac arrest. It was a truly life-threatening event and she had since endured chronic pain, together with psychiatric and psychosocial difficulties. Her most pressing need was for a carer to ease her path out of her current isolated existence. After proceedings were brought on her behalf, an NHS trust swiftly admitted liability on the basis that the drug had been over-prescribed.

The woman had received advance payments of compensation totalling a six-figure sum, with a view to funding her care on an interim basis before her case came to trial. However, due to her addiction, she had gambled away the great majority of that money. In response to that, she was declared a protected party and the Official Solicitor was appointed to act as her litigation friend.

After an overall £2.2 million lump-sum settlement of her claim was agreed, a private trust was established whereby the fund would be managed on her behalf by her brother under the supervision of a professional trustee. Although she had freed herself from her addiction, the professional oversight of the trust would be a great comfort to both her and her family.

In approving the settlement, the High Court noted that the trust arrangements would place a protective ring around her to ensure that the settlement sum was employed in her best interests. In a further measure to protect her from exploitation, the Court ordered that she must not be identified in reports of the case.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Award That Requires Borrowing Made Into Court Order

17th May, 2024 By

Disagreements between separating couples all too often result in litigation that substantially reduces the assets available to them, as was illustrated by a case that recently reached the High Court. At issue was whether awards made by arbitrators in financial remedy proceedings can be made into court orders even if that would require one of the parties to borrow money. The couple had previously had a relationship lasting a few years before resuming their relationship in 2015. They had two children before separating again in 2019. Following their separation, the...

Inheritance Disputes – Costs Risks Can Be Reduced

15th May, 2024 By

Arguments about what someone promised before their death can lead to significant legal costs. However, if faced with a claim against the estate, there may be steps the beneficiaries or executors can take to reduce the risks, as a recent High Court case illustrated. A man had left a farmhouse and agricultural land in Cornwall to his wife, with whom he had also jointly owned a neighbouring area of land. After his death, one of the couple's daughters and her husband claimed that he had told them he wanted them...

Share Rounding Error Does Not Prevent CGT Relief

13th May, 2024 By

There are often very specific rules that must be complied with in order to claim tax reliefs, but if a small mistake arises, the courts may be able to provide assistance. In a recent case, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that an investor was entitled to Entrepreneurs' Relief on the disposal of his shares in a company, despite owning one share fewer than he needed to qualify for it. The investor had agreed to purchase 5 per cent of the shares in the company for £500,000. He wished to own...

Wife Entitled to Maintenance Until Sale of Family Home

10th May, 2024 By

When divorcing couples disagree on how assets should be divided, the courts will seek to arrive at a fair outcome for both parties. In deciding how the proceeds of sale of a former couple's home should be apportioned, the Family Court agreed with the wife that she should receive maintenance payments until the sale took place. The couple had married in 2006. Following a brief separation, they had reconciled for two years before finally separating in 2022. The husband and wife both contended that they should be entitled to about...