North Devon woman awarded £200,000 for negligent prescription of benzodiazepine drug

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Medical negligence specialist Oliver Thorne recently represented a woman from North Devon in a successful medical negligence claim against Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

Our client was prescribed a benzodiazepine based drug in the early 1990’s for pain relief. She was advised at the time that she would have to take it for the rest of her life. By the end of the 90’s her pain had improved so she attempted to reduce her dose of the drug. However when she did so she discovered that she had become addicted to the medication. In order to overcome her dependency our client sought specialist medical treatment. It was a painful process and she continued to be plagued by the side effects of withdrawal throughout, which included IBS, pins and needles and insomnia.

In 2005 she asked on several occasions to be put back on the medication, but as there was no clinical basis to do so her treating consultant refused her requests. However when sometime later our client was seen by a locum in Barnstaple her wish was granted and the drug was re-prescribed.

Inevitably, her condition took a turn for the worse and she found herself once again battling the process of withdrawal from the drug. This time round the struggle to recover was a much tougher battle. Her symptoms were considerably worse than they had been previously. She started taking other medication and drinking heavily to avoid her cravings. Her condition deteriorated and she ended up losing her job and requiring full time care from her husband. Things became so bad that she eventually decided to check into the Priory clinic.

Had the benzodiazepine not been re-prescribed by the locum our client’s recovery would not have suffered these setbacks and her condition would not have deteriorated in the way it did. After pursuing a medical negligence claim against the Trust on a No Win, No Fee basis, an admission of liability was eventually made, paving the way to an out of court compensation settlement of £200,000.

If you or someone close to you have been wrongly prescribed an addictive drug and you’d like to know where you stand legally then contact specialist medical negligence lawyer Oliver Thorne now for a free assessment of your potential case.