A FOULDEN man was dealt a massive blow this week when the law firm representing him in a five-figure case against NHS Borders shut down following an inquiry into its accounts.
Ross Harper, one of Scotland’s best known solicitors, contacted Ian Laird at 4.10pm on Monday to say they would be ceasing trading 50 minutes later.
Mr Laird told The Berwickshire News this revelation blew him “sky high” after already growing frustrated at how long it had taken his case against the health board, which he is pursuing after contacting MRSA at Borders General Hospital, had taken to be heard.
Mr Laird ended up in hospital after an accident at his home at the end of 2006 when he tumbled from his roof. He was knocked unconscious and left with brain damage, a broken collar bone, fractured ribs and punctured lungs.
He was in a coma for five weeks but it was on being transferred to the Knoll Hospital in Duns that a senior nurse there discovered from his case notes that he had MRSA and Clostridium difficile in his system.
He is now seeking a five-figure settlement from NHS Borders after claiming that it was their failure to have any counter measures in place for the spread of disease which led to him contracting the bacterial infections.
He still has MRSA in his system today and is now worried that with no legal team to act on his behalf when the case calls at Selkirk Sheriff Court today, May 3, it is in danger of being thrown out altogether if he can’t find a new solicitor quickly.
“When I got the phone call from Ross Harper on Monday I started shaking and sweating,” he explained. “I’m diabetic and I thought I was going to have a hypoglycemic attack. The news blew me sky high. I can’t believe they only gave me 50 minutes notice. I’ve wanted my case to be heard for the last four years, but was previously told by Ross Harper that it wasn’t allowed to go to court until another case involving a Mrs Miller, who was pursuing a similar action against the Glasgow health board, had been settled.
“This was going to be a test case but ended up being abandoned and I was told my case would then be used to set a precedent for others. I’m starting to doubt if this was actually true and not just a fairytale to cover up the problems Ross Harper were having. I’ve been left in the lurch and need to find someone else to represent me and then get my legal aid and all of the associated papers transferred to them. I’m determined to keep fighting this case.”
NHS Scotland’s Central Legal Office has told Mr Laird that it will object to a long-term delay of his case against NHS Borders. He is hoping that if a short-term delay is granted at Selkirk Sheriff Court he can obtain legal representation within the allotted time.