Dying wish of Highgate mother granted in the high court
�The dying wish of a Highgate mother to leave a financial legacy for her family’s future was fulfilled this week after her children took her battle all the way to the High Court.
Caroline Sharpe, of North Hill, Highgate, began legal action for negligence against her private GP, Dr David Myers, after he failed to refer her to hospital following an examination in November 2003.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly a year later, in October 2004, and the claim alleged that there was a delay in her diagnosis which had a serious impact on her condition and prognosis.
However, Ms Sharpe died before the proceedings came to a conclusion and the cause was taken up by her sons Jake and Jesse O’Hare – who are now 15 and 18.
Without admitting any liability in the case, Dr Myers, or his insurers, agreed this week to settle the family’s case for an undisclosed sum.
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Lawyers acting for the family told the court Ms Sharpe had launched her bid for compensation so that her sons would be provided for after her death.
Their barrister, Fiona Neale, said: “She wanted the interests of the boys to be protected.
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“She didn’t see this as a cash cow for the boys so much as her legacy to them.”
She added: “Although she was singularly unfortunate, both in the disease she had and the course it took, she was nevertheless very lucky in being surrounded by family and friends who gave her a great deal of support.”
Richard Partridge, on behalf of Dr Myers, said: “This was a particularly tragic case and we just hope this order can in some way compensate the family.”
The court heard the payout will be divided, with some money going to Ms Sharpe’s estate and the costs of the litigation, and the rest going to the two boys to compensate them for their loss of care by her.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Tugendhat said: “It only remains for me to express to the family my personal sympathy.
“Every parent and grandparent can understand only too well how difficult matters must have been and I would like to extend my sympathy and best wishes.”
The family’s solicitor, Verity Danziger said the family were “relieved that settlement terms were agreed without the need for a trial”.