Widow wins NHS payout over husband's death

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The widow of a "truly remarkable man" was today awarded a six-figure sum in settlement of her medical negligence claim over his death.

A judge in the High Court in London heard that solicitor Peter Wells, 59, of Epping, Essex, died in hospital from what was described as a "reversible and treatable condition".



Mr Wells, who had just become a father, had gone to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow with respiratory failure after suffering from a persistent cough.



The case for his widow Crystal, 47, was that he was likely to have survived and made a full recovery if he had been intubated at any time prior to his death on December 9 2005.



Mr Justice Owen heard that the Princess Alexandra NHS Trust admitted liability.



Neil Sheldon, representing the trust, offered its sincere apologies to his family. The couple's son Matthew was born on March 26 2005.



The barrister said: "Mr Wells did not get the treatment he was entitled to expect. It is a matter or profound regret."



Mr Wells, who was wheelchair-bound, suffered from an inherited disorder which resulted in his bones being brittle and subject to recurrent fractures.



Despite this condition he was described as being in good health prior to November 2005, when he went to his doctor because of a persistent dry cough.



He had been in private practice as a solicitor for a number of years and was also known for his work in the community and for charity.



Mr Justice Owen told Mrs Wells: "I have read the papers and I have been immensely impressed by the tributes that were paid to your husband.



"He was rightly described as a truly remarkable man. That makes the loss that you and Matthew have experienced all the greater.



"But at least you will be able to make provision for Matthew in a way I know your husband would have wanted."



The damages figure was not disclosed in court.

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