Hugh James team

A compensation Scheme being established by SHG to deal with claims from Dr Sergio patients

Soon after the criminal conviction of former Orthopaedic Surgeon for St Helena, Dr Sergio Vilatoro
Bran on Friday of last week, SHG issued a press release announcing the establishment of “an
independently operated compensation scheme” in order to “process and manage claims associated
with previous treatment delivered by Dr Bran.”
“Whilst Dr Bran has accepted and been convicted of criminal activity, there are also a number of
cases where there may be civil liability due to medical negligence,” stated SHG. They added that
while the “exact number” of claims is not yet known, “given the length of his employment with SHG
and the number of patients he treated, SHG recognises that there may well be a significant number of
persons who will consider seeking to make a claim for damages relating to the treatment they
received, and who may have claims for which they deserve to be compensated.”
In relation to this, a three-strong team – consisting of Ruth, Isobel and Gemma – from Hugh James
Solicitors (a UK-based law firm) are currently on Island meeting with the large list of individuals who
could potentially seek claims for damages against SHG and Sergio.
In response, SHG have “engaged an external law firm with significant experience in these matters to
develop and manage the [compensation] scheme, which will be operated entirely independent of
SHG.” These type of schemes, according to SHG, “are well established in legal systems” and are a
way of “resolving potential claims away from court.”
SHG described the establishment of this compensation scheme as “a sensible approach by a
responsible government.”
“In providing for a dedicated, experienced and independent team to deal with claims, it is hoped
that claimants are able to get justice and achieve a fair outcome in the most cost and time effective,
and least stressful, way possible,” add SHG. “This also means that claimants will not need a lawyer to
access the scheme, although they can engage their own legal representatives at their own cost if
they want to.”
In terms of a potential timeline for ther establishment and subsequent operation of the scheme,
SHG say that they “can’t give a firm timeline at this stage” due to the scheme “being developed by
the chosen UK law firm, at arms’ length from SHG and in collaboration with claimants’ legal
representatives.” They do however state that they “expect this to be set up within weeks rather than
months,” adding that “we want the scheme to be established and up and running as soon as

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