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Agata Usewicz

Agata Usewicz | Partner

ausewicz@hja.net 020 7874 8462

Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2015

I am Head of the Medical Negligence team at HJA. My practice includes claims of maximum severity, injuries sustained at birth, claims against GPs, cases of surgical error, ophthalmic injuries and elderly care. I have a proven track record of successfully litigating fiercely contested cases.

I joined HJA in 2011 from Colemans-ctts Solicitors and I was promoted to Partner in 2014. I am committed to providing access to justice, and am equally dedicated to my clients who have more modest claims as well as those with catastrophic injuries.

I am a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel. I am also recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

Education

  • MA (Oxon) Jurisprudence
  • College of Law, Birmingham – Legal Practice Course
  • King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls

Career

  • Solicitor, Hodge Jones & Allen LLP (2011 – present)
  • Solicitor, Colemans-ctts LLP (2007 – 2010)
  • Trained at Brachers Solicitors LLP (2004 – 2006)

Client Comments

  • “I would like to thank you, on behalf of the whole family for your perseverance and determination in this long drawn out case.”
  • “I am grateful to your firm Hodge Jones & Allen to have so successfully brought this matter to a happy conclusion. In future if any occasion arises, I wouldn’t have any hesitation to recommend to my friends that they contact your firm immediately. I once again thank you for your forbearance and patience to bring this difficult matter to a happy ending.”
  • “Whilst writing please can I say a warm hearted thank you, it really is appreciated so much all you have done over the past 4 years. I am pleased with the outcome and this confirms enough to me they failed to provide the appropriate care. Once again, thank you and please pass on my appreciation to everyone who was involved with the case and all the hard work they put in.”
  • “Thank you for all of your hard work. It was a pleasure to know you”.
  • “OMG I cannot actually believe what I am reading!!!! I am so pleased with this result and I cannot thank you enough for all you have done. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, I do really mean that. I can now move on in my life. Thank you again for everything you have done, you all have been amazing”

Notable Cases

  • Totham v Kings College NHS Trust [2015] EWHC 97 (QB). In this case I acted for a little girl who suffered a brain injury at birth and as a result has cerebral palsy. The trust admitted liability but damages were contested to trial. Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing considered a range of issues relating to quantum. Her judgement included consideration of future loss of earnings in the ‘lost years’, how to approach claims for commercial case management where the standard of care has been inadequate, claims for gratuitous care and case management, and future childcare costs. My client was awarded damages of £10.1 million, which at the time was the highest court award for a claim for personal injuries for a UK national.
  • In another case widely reported in the national press, I represented a city solicitor in a claim involving a delay in diagnosis of appendicitis. My client was left infertile as a result of the hospital’s negligence, and she also claimed a large for loss of earning as a result of the damage done to her career. The impact of her injuries was debated at a hearing at the High Court following which the court reserved its decision on the case. We reached an out of Court settlement for a six figure sum.
  • I acted for a young woman who was having her first baby at a hospital in Kent. Her labour was extremely protected, and her baby was born in a very poor condition. The baby tragically died a few hours after being born. We acted for her in the Inquest into her baby’s death, in which the coroner was extremely critical of the way in which the labour had been managed. The attending midwifes and consultant failed to appreciate that the baby’s heartbeat had dropped, and they should have delivered her by emergency caesarean section. Had they done so, the baby would have survived. The hospital admitted liability shortly after the Inquest, and we negotiated a settlement of £38,000 which included damages for the psychiatric injury caused to my client as a result of the defendant’s negligence.
  • In a case which was complicated by the fact that the NHS is now outsourcing some of its services, I acted for a woman who injured her wrist during cheerleading practice. She was examined by an Emergency Nurse Practitioner at a hospital and an x-ray was taken. She was told that she had just sprained her wrist and sent home. She had in fact fractured her scaphoid. By the time it was diagnosed it was too late to treat it conservatively and she required surgery. She was left with residual weakness in her wrist. We issued claims against both the NHS Trust and the independent radiologist who had reported the x-ray off site. Liability was denied by both defendants, but eventually a negotiated settlement of £22,000 was agreed.
  • I acted for young man who sustained an injury to his shin playing football. Surgeons at the defendant hospital noted that he had suffered a vascular injury, but failed to take any action. Overnight, he developed compartment syndrome in his calf. As a result of the delay in treating him he developed extensive muscle necrosis and nerve damage. He required several surgeries to debride the damaged tissue and contracted MRSA while in hospital. In an attempt to correct the foot drop caused by the nerve damage he underwent tendon transfer surgery but this was unsuccessful and he had to have his ankle joint fused. He has been left with a permanent disability. The hospital strenuously denied liability, however we managed to reach a negotiated settlement for damages in excess of £700,000 a few weeks before trial.
  • In an extremely tragic case, I acted for the family of a lady with a history of mental health issues who was under the care of her local community mental health team. They failed to act on a marked deterioration and she hanged herself, leaving behind a husband and three small children. The hospital trust denied liability, however we had extremely supportive expert evidence, and some way into Court proceedings, they conceded that they were responsible and the case settled for £370,000.

Membership & Appointments

  • The Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel
  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)

Personal Interests

I live in South London. I have an interest in Art Deco architecture and Indian cooking. I am also a cricket fan and a cat lover.