Dominic Fairclough, partner, and Mala Parmar, associate in the personal injury and clinical negligence team, acted on behalf of Raphael Smith, a young man who was left in a permanent vegetative state as a result of an alleged hospital error, achieving damages of £175,000.

Raphael was shot at age 17 in December 2008, and the damage the bullet caused to his spine resulted in catastrophic injuries. Raphael became a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. On 21 December 2008, his tracheotomy tube was dislodged while Raphael was being turned by nursing staff at the Royal London Hospital. The High Court accepted that this event triggered a cardiac arrest and caused catastrophic brain damage. As a result of this event, doctors confirmed that Raphael will remain in a vegetative state with little awareness.

In awarding the damages Judge Barry Cotter said Mr Smith's was a "highly unusual and tragic" case with a unique set of circumstances.

Dominic says of the case "This was a truly awful case. As a result of the displacement of the tracheotomy tube, Raphael lost the one thing he had left following the shooting; his ability to communicate. Liability was not admitted by the hospital but Raphael's mother is pleased that the lawyers representing the Trust did express regret for the circumstances of the incident. The compensation obtained will all be used to care for Raphael".

To find out more about our personal injury and clinical negligence work, visit our service page.

To read more about the case, visit the BBC website.