Largest reported settlement for benzodiazepine mis-prescription agreed for client of Royds Withy King
A deceased man’s family have been awarded £625,000 after bringing a claim for benzodiazepine mis-prescription which tragically led him to take his own life – one of the largest reported settlements of its kind in England and Wales.
Royds Withy King pursued the case since the man first consulted the firm in 2011. The case was settled recently, hopefully bringing some measure of closure to the man’s family.
Joachim Stanley from our medical negligence team had this to say:
“This very unfortunate man was maintained on benzodiazepines over a period of years by a psychiatrist, and suffered from benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. His psychiatrist refused to accept this, and was adamant that he was suffering from an anxiety disorder. It later emerged that he was not treated properly for this either. This sequence of events ultimately led our client to take his own life. The case was thereafter brought by his widow.
“The deceased was a hugely successful businessman, who was formerly the Managing Director of a listed company. His work was praised by Sir John Major (then the Chancellor of the Exchequer), amongst other people. He was also a devoted family man, who was much loved by his widow and son. It was a desperately sad sequence of events, and I was horrified when I learned that he had taken his own life. Nobody took control of his care when it was increasingly apparent that he needed help, which I find appalling.
“His family will never have him back, and I can only hope that this settlement brings them some measure of closure. I also hope that this sends a message to the medical profession of the dangers that mis-prescribing these drugs, and ultimately means that fewer families find themselves in this terrible situation. I wish his family well.”
The settlement covered damages for pain and suffering, as well as loss of earnings and pension, reflecting the deceased’s very high earning potential as the MD of a listed company.