Case number 153LS1289: Healthwatch Services Vs Nicholas Worthing
Small claims court: Judge NV2378 Bowles presiding
Representing Healthwatch Services Ltd, Digby and Digby Legal Services Ltd
Representing Nicholas Worthing, himself.
The plaintiff, Nicholas Worthing accuses Healthwatch Services of negligence and breach of contract in that the company’s employee H236SNV, referred to here as Nurse Mary, failed to provide adequate care for Mrs Geraldine Worthing of 27 Acacia Avenue, Surbiton, resulting in her death on 18.02.18, and that this failure was contrary to the terms of the agreement between Nicholas Worthing and Healthwatch Services, entered into on 12.01.18. To refer to this contract, click HERE.
Digby: Mr Worthing, you entered into the attached agreement on 12.01.18, having due regard to clause 12.2.7, in which you prioritised your mother’s care regime? YES/NO
Digby: In completing the contract, you selected, under clause 12.2.7, the option requiring Healthwatch Services to prioritise you mother’s quality of life over its longevity? YES/NO
Digby: In doing so, you understood that Nurse Mary would make decisions as to what medication would be most appropriate to fulfil your objective? By that I mean that Nurse Mary was free to decide on a regime which afforded your mother maximum comfort for a shorter life, rather than medication which might prolong her life at the cost of her comfort? YES/NO
Worthing: YES, but I didn’t expect her to kill my mother within weeks of moving in, by overdosing her with morphine!
Bowles: Mr Worthing, you will have your chance to respond in due course.
Digby: Can I refer you to clause 18.2.4, in which you accepted the monthly fees in this contract. It states that should the party responsible for funding the nursing care be unable to maintain the monthly payment schedule, the contract is immediately null and void. Do you accept that you agreed to this clause? YES/NO
Worthing: I did, and I was paying the monthly fees, exorbitant though they were. I hadn’t missed any payments. It was only a month since I signed when she died for Christ’s sake!
Digby: Yes, but Healthwatch’s analytics identified that your financial status would change within three months. Your social media comments indicated that you believed your job to be in jeopardy after you took four days off in January without a doctor’s certificate. Your account with BetBoy123 has been in the red for three months, and you have drawn down the majority of your mother’s savings since the start of the year using your power of attorney. We note also that your wife left the family home on January 16th, with your two children, and has begun to reside at the address of one James Marchant. According to the analytics, you would be unable to keep up the payments to Healthwatch Services by April, or at latest, May of this year. Do you dispute these facts? YES/NO
NO. But I would have found another job, and I would have made sure I didn’t miss a payment. You’re telling me that based on some fucking algorithm, my creditworthiness was questioned and that gave Healthwatch fucking Services the right to overdose my mother. Exterminate her??
Bowles: If you continue to use abusive language, Mr Worthing, your case will be dismissed forthwith.
Worthing: Sorry, Judge. I’m just upset. I loved my mother, you see. And Nurse Mary gave her a lethal dose.
Digby: My Lord, I’d like to submit the brain scan for Mrs Geraldine Worthing, taken during the last twelve hours of her life, following the administration of the increased dosage of morphine. Click HERE. It indicates a state of euphoria, no arthritic pain and extremely low stress levels, all associated with a peaceful death. I submit that this medication decision was in keeping with the terms of the contract clause 12.2.7, and that in the circumstances, vis a vis Mr Worthing’s financial outlook, and inevitable upcoming breach of contract, the company was within its rights under clause 28.16.4 to terminate the contract in the most humane way possible.
Worthing: Euthanasia with lethal doses of morphine might sound humane to you… But not to me. I loved her. What sort of carer would do that? She didn’t even contact me to ask? How can she administer death like that? She’s a nurse, isn’t she?
Digby: H236SNV is the latest model. It’s decision-making processes are faultless here. You are suggesting that your feelings for your mother should have played a part in this process. That was not part of the agreement you signed Mr Worthing. But as you raise it, may I draw your attention to your Facebook posts of October last year, in which you refer to your mother a ‘the crone who’s sapping your strength’. You complained about the cost of home help, and told your friends that you ‘wish she’d hurry up and die before her bank balance is empty’, so you could have a party on her grave.
Worthing: Yeah, well. That was a joke, and I was pissed at the time.
Bowles: I’ve heard enough. Mr Worthing, unless you have any material evidence to support your case, I’ll move to rule. Do you have further evidence to bring? YES/NO
Bowles: I find that Healthwatch did not breach its contract. I find further that given your attitude to your mother’s care, and your obvious indifference to her life, that the company operated in her best interests in administering palliative medication. Case Dismissed.
Digby: My Lord, Healthwatch Services’ contract requires three months’ notice to be given in writing by Mr Worthing to terminate the services. This has yet to be received. H236SNV Nurse Mary was vandalised on February 20th, following the company’s notification to Mr Worthing of his mother’s death. Its video feed, transmitted at 12.43pm, clearly identified Mr Worthing wielding a sledge hammer, before the camera was destroyed. Additionally, the morphine which was administered exceeded the allocated budget for medication, and in accordance with clause 1.15.3, has been added to the final charges. Healthwatch Services estimates the final settlement due to be £18,278.56. The company would like to make an ex gratia adjustment, as a gesture of sympathy for Mr Worthing’s bereavement and in view of his straitened circumstances, and is applying for £18,000 to be deducted from the estate of Mrs Geraldine Worthing, upon the sale of her assets. Is this approved? YES/NO
Worthing: £278.56 off! And I’m paying for the drugs that killed her. You’re all heart!
Digby: Empathic responses are now built into our algorithms, Mr Worthing, but a lawyer which was ‘all heart’ would not serve its purpose, I feel.