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Jack Ferro

Call 1998

Clinical Negligence

Jack has a broad range of experience in this area, acting for Claimants as well as for the NHSLA and the defence unions. He has considerable experience of trials, inquests and settlement meetings. He has worked on cases involving serious brain injuries, paraplegia and tetraplegia, major birth defects (particularly cerebral palsy), surgical error, cosmetic surgery and diagnostic failures. He advises regularly on issues of capacity and consent, as well as marshalling complex calculations on assessment of damages involving extensive care and therapy regimes, and associated educational, vocational and accommodation issues. He is noted for his ability to grasp the detail of expert evidence in highly specialist fields, and to deploy that knowledge to his advantage in consultations with experts, in cross-examination and in negotiations with opponents.

Selected Cases

  • Y (a child) v Z University Hospital NHS Trust – £7 million claim, acting for infant claimant who suffered cerebral palsy as a result of mismanagement at the time of his birth. Complex issues on quantum, involving issues of future education, accommodation and private top-up of public care and therapy provision. Case settled at round-table meeting.
  • AB (a child) v Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust – Acted for child suffering severe physical disabilities following mismanagement at her birth. She was left with severe communication difficulties and cognitive deficits. The case was complicated by care proceedings during the course of the High Court claim, a highly sensitive domestic situation involving allegations of sexual abuse, and the Local Authority being joined as an intervening party. Liability was compromised on a 75% basis, which led to difficult issues on assessment of damages, in particular as to the balancing of lump sum and periodical payments awards so as to provide sufficient flexibility to meet the 25% shortfall in the cost of therapies, and as to the finding of a workable accommodation solution in a situation where a Roberts v Johnstone award was reduced by 25%.
  • Godfrey v Princess Alexandra Hospital – Represented dependants in a fatal accident claim arising out of the death of a young woman following excessive post-natal vomiting, leading to a vitamin deficiency causing neurological damage (Wernicke’s encephalopathy). The case involved a catalogue of diagnostic and therapeutic failures by a variety of clinicians, including obstetricians, A&E doctors and psychiatrists. Issues on assessment of damages included care requirements relating to three dependant children, and loss of income.
  • Raggett v Kings – Represented defendant hospital in claim arising from leg amputation following delay in diagnosing critical limb ischaemia. Claimant subsequently died of unrelated heart condition, and defendant faced additional allegations that proper treatment of the leg would have led to a diagnosis of the condition from which the claimant later died.
  • Dainton v Powell – Successfully represented claimant at trial of liability issues in a case where a GP’s failure to diagnose a developmental dysplasia of the hip at neonatal examination led to lifelong disability and serious impairments to the claimant’s mobility requiring multiple surgeries. The claim was not issued until 21 years later, and therefore raised issues as to the applicability of diagnostic guidelines in the late 1980s, the relative spheres of responsibility of GPs and health visitors at that time, and issues on quantum as to the causal link between the claimant’s disability and her poor educational achievement.
  • Batey v Taylor – Acted for claimant in action against respiratory physician for negligent treatment of a persistent respiratory condition. Issues arose as to the appropriateness of the long-term prescription of systemic steroids and as to the failure to identify alternative treatment regimes. Quantification of loss was complicated by the fact that the claimant was about to start a new business venture, the financial prospects of which were uncertain.
  • Dyche v East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust – Acted for claimant in action arising from a hospital’s failure to make a timely diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome following a back injury. The delayed diagnosis resulted in ongoing disability considerably more severe than would otherwise have been the case.
  • Khan v Joy – Acted for claimant in action arising from delayed diagnosis of pancoast tumour in the lung. The case raised difficult issues on the expert evidence as to the time when the tumour should first have been diagnosed and as to the effect of the delayed diagnosis on the claimant’s levels of pain / disability and on his chances of survival.
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  • London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association (1999 to present)
  • Committee member of the Bar Human Rights Committee (2002 to present)

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