London

Woman receives £500,000 payout over ambulance delay

A woman who had to leave her job through stress after she was trapped on a London bus with a dislocated knee has received £522,379 in compensation.

Ceri Leigh claimed she developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after she was injured on a bus at Wimbledon station in November 2008.

She told the High Court said she was left screaming in agony for 50 minutes when an ambulance was delayed.

London Ambulance Service admitted there was a negligent delay of 17 minutes.

However, the NHS Trust disputed the link with Mrs Leigh's psychiatric problems and the amount of damages.

'Utter despair'

In court, Mr Justice Globe said every additional minute that paramedics were delayed had added to her trauma until she was left in "utter despair".

Mrs Leigh, 50, said she could not sit or stand and was unable to move between the seats of the bus when she dislocated her right kneecap.

The former exhibitions manager at the Natural History Museum said she was medically retired from her job after the incident and financial pressures forced her to move to South Wales.

She said her knee did not recover fully for around 18 months and she became housebound, suffering flashbacks, nightmares and dissociative seizures.

Disorder development

The judge witnessed a seizure when Mrs Leigh gave evidence by video link.

Lawyers for the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust argued that Mrs Leigh had suffered from other stresses, including financial and family problems, from 2010 until 2011.

Mr Justice Globe said he was satisfied that the seizures were part of the PTSD she had been diagnosed with.

He added: "There are innumerable variables in the circumstances that will give rise to development of such a disorder and in the people who are likely to suffer it."

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