Specialisms & expertise
James is a specialist in the fields of clinical negligence and personal injury, and has a wealth of knowledge, in both areas. James’ specialism in clinical negligence has been acknowledged by his admission onto the prestigious AvMA Specialist Clinical Negligence Panel, he is also recognised in the leading independent guide to UK law firms, Chambers UK for 2016, being described as "an extremely thorough practitioner", James is also named in the prestigious independent guide to the profession, the Legal 500 where he is described as "very sound on tactics".
Client stories & examples of work
James' medical negligence claims have involved a wide variety of issues, some examples include:
- negligent spinal surgery
- delayed sepsis diagnosis and treatment (leading to acquired brain injury)
- delay in the diagnosis of cancer (ovarian, melanoma and colorectal)
- limb amputation (often as a result of poorly treated vascular conditions and leg ulcers)
- negligent surgical treatment, including cholecystectomy, nephrectomy, colectomy, arthroplasty, bariatric (obesity surgery), arthroscopy and general laparoscopic surgery
- negligent cancer resection procedures leading to severed urethra and ureter
- substandard ophthalmic treatment, including retinal detachment and blindness
- negligent gynaecology procedures leading to ‘wrongful birth’
- negligent delays in diagnosis of a variety of conditions including torsion of the testicle ;
- misdiagnosis of a range of life threatening conditions including necrotising fasciitis
- substandard management of patient's care by General Practitioners
- negligent cosmetic surgery (plastic surgery claims)
- Fatal Accident Act claims arising out of hospital negligence
James' personal injury claims span all aspects of employer's liability claims, product liability claims and occupier's liability claims, including cases involving:
- head injuries (including all elements of acquired brain injury)
- spinal injuries
- multiple orthopaedic injuries
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other severe psychological disorders.
Client stories & notable cases
Mr Philip Scudder v Brighton and Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust (Issued with the High Court)
The claimant in this case underwent, what was supposed to be a routine spinal operation to his thoracic spine. The surgeon in this case appeared to use a surgical technique that had been abandoned as too dangerous in the 1970’s, and as a result of the technique used during his spinal surgery, Mr Phil Scudder suffered a profound spinal cord injury which has left him wheelchair dependent for life. This story was covered by BBC News South East today: Apology for man paralysed following spinal surgery.
Damages recovered: £4.1Million
Mr H v East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (Issued with the High Court)
This clinical negligence claim settled just 4 weeks before a full trial in the High Court (after a 4 years of litigation), and involved a negligent failure to diagnose a rectal abscess, which was allowed to develop into a complex and highly damaging ‘horseshoe’ type abscess. The failure to make the correct diagnosis caused major, irreparable damage to the Mr H, and left him with long term issues with continence problems. Mr H spent a prolonged periods in hospital for two years which led to the need to wind up his flooring business.
Damages recovered: £380,000.00
Mr F v Origin Enterprises and another (2016) (Issued with the High Court)
James acted for a gentleman who suffered catastrophic leg injuries to both legs when he was crushed against a wall by an articulated lorry that rolled down a hill, out of control, without a driver.
Damages recovered: £six figure sum (TBC)
Mrs C v Dr Cox [General practitioner] (Issued with the High Court)
This clinical negligence claim was against a GP, and involved their defence union the MPS. The negligence in this claim was the failure to diagnose bilateral acute closed angle glaucoma, which in turn led to permanent damage to the patient’s eyesight. Mrs C was left with reduced fields of vision, and she had to wear sunglasses most of the day, all year round, as her pupils did not react correctly to light .
Damages recovered: £150,000.00
Mr R v Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (Issued with the High Court)
This medical negligence case involved a failure to manage an elderly claimant’s falls risk appropriately in hospital despite his condition of delirium, which led to the claimant sustaining a major hip fracture requiring surgery and leaving him highly dependent on others on a day to day basis. Damages recovered: £200,000.00
Mr M v Medway NHS Foundation Trust (Issued with the High Court)
This Clinical Negligence case involved a failure to diagnose a form of hip fracture called a slipped upper femoral epiphysis (SUFE), in a child. This led to accelerated acute arthritis and the need for additional hip surgery that would otherwise have been avoided. James successfully argued that repeated hip operations would lead to a compound increase in the risk with each revision procedure that was required until a ‘girdlestone’ procedure (fusion) would be necessary.
Damages recovered: £250,0000.00
Mrs P (on behalf of Mr P deceased) v Kings College Hospital NHS Trust
James acted for the widow of a man who tragically died at Kings College Hospital after there was a negligent failure to continue with IV antibiotics in the Intensive Care Unit following the diagnosis of meningitis contracted after brain surgery.
Damages recovered: £70,000.00
Mr P v Kent County Council (Issued with the High Court)
This case involved a minor traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused when a faulty sash window in a local school fell onto the claimant’s head. The claimant’s brain injury caused a permanent balance disturbance due to an associated vestibular disorder. His injuries stopped him from perusing a career in the fire service.
Damages recovered: £200,000.00
Mrs S v Waterstones Booksellers ltd
This case involved an elderly lady who fell over wide boxes of books left in the narrow aisles of the shop. As a result of the fall she required a complete shoulder replacement procedure which led to permanent restrictions on the claimant’s ability to carry out normal day to day tasks. She was unable to walk her three dogs, do the gardening or cleaning and could not even brush or wash her own hair.
Damages recovered: £127,000.00
Mr C v East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (Issued with the High Court)
The tragic clinical negligence case involved a negligent failure to identify a traumatic injury to the Claimant’s urethra during a resection procedure for colorectal cancer. As a result of the negligence the claimant suffered significant leakage and was housebound and in severe pain. In addition to these symptoms the claimant was not able to undergo the lifesaving post operative chemotherapy he needed, until the urethral injury was fully repaired, which did not occur for many months. The subsequent delay in the chemotherapy had an adverse impact on the claimant’s life expectancy.
Damage recovered £130,000.00
Achievements & accreditations
- APIL Litigator
- AvMA Specialist Clinical Negligence Panel
- Ranked in Chambers
- Ranked in the Legal 500
James read Law at The University of Wales Aberystwyth where he obtained an honours degree and went on to complete his Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Chester. James joined Thomson Snell & Passmore in 2006 and is married with three children, and enjoys hiking in the mountains and all things ‘outdoors’.