Widower to receive £150,000 payout linked to wife's death in Oxfordshire

  • 15 May 2013
  • From the section Oxford

A widower left with brain damage from alcohol abuse linked to the shock of his wife's sudden death is to receive a £150,000 payout from the NHS.

Tom Dyer "drank himself into oblivion" after wife Dorothy died at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital following a cardiac arrest on Christmas Day 2008.

Mrs Dyer's gut was earlier perforated during a minor operation and the hospital trust has admitted liability.

The High Court approved the out-of-court settlement for Mr Dyer's care.

'In shock'

Mr Dyer, 64, gave permission for his wife's life support to be switched off after she suffered the cardiac arrest.

He turned to alcohol and was admitted to hospital for detoxification in 2009.

But Mr Dyer had already suffered brain damage due to his his drinking.

Oxford University Hospitals Trust has already admitted liability in relation to the death of Mrs Dyer following an operation.

Mr Justice Globe approved the £150,000 payout to Mr Dyer as a secondary victim.

In a statement, solicitors Blake Lapthorn said: "Mr Dyer's claim is that he was so shocked by the circumstances of his wife's death at the John Radcliffe Hospital on Christmas Day 2008 that he went into shock and tried to drink himself into oblivion.

"As a result, he sustained permanent brain damage, such that he will need supervision and support for the rest of his life."

Mr Dyer's daughter, Joanne, said in a statement: "While it is a relief to have reached a conclusion to this legal process of more than four years, nothing can dilute our sense of loss over the needless death of my mother."

A trust spokeswoman said it was "pleased" Mr Dyer's claim has been approved.

She added: "Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust very much regrets the death of Mrs Dorothy Dyer following an operation and has admitted liability. "

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