Jessye Norman estate sues two London doctors

Jessye Norman estate sues two London doctors


norman lebrecht

September 30, 2021

The Guardian reports that the late singer’s brother has issued proceedings against two doctors and a London private hospital for allegedly leaving her paralysed in 2015 after surgery for a painful back problem.

James Howard Norman Sr alleges that medical negligence by anaesthetist and pain specialist Dr Adnan Al-Kaisy, consultant spinal surgeon Khai Lam and the London Bridge hospital left his sister unable to move her body below the waist.

The doctors and hospital deny the claim.

Report here.

Ms Norman died two years ago today, allegedly without recovering full use of her lower body. She was 74.


  • True North says:

    Incidentally, Ms. Norman’s palatial country estate in Croton-on-Hudson is now for sale for a cool $3.95 million. I spent an amusing half-hour this morning touring it via the website below, and wondering what on earth she needed all those rooms for.

  • DG says:

    A sad end for an absolute legend. If justice is due, I hope she gets justice, even posthumously.

  • BRUCEB says:

    In the US at least, you have to sign an “informed consent” form before any surgery or any kind of invasive treatment. It lists the possible risks and side effects, and by signing it you attest that you have been informed of these and consent to the procedure (and paralysis would obviously be on the list of risks for spinal surgery). Once in awhile, things like this happen.

    I’m not sure it totally protects doctors from malpractice suits, but it’s meant to be a form of protection at least. If she signed such a form beforehand (assuming they do this in the UK?), it might make it difficult for the plaintiffs.

    • MJA says:

      Yes, they do this in the UK. It’s a prerequisite, and I struggle to believe the practitioners involved would have proceeded without it. Still, it’s sub judice so we should wait and see.

  • William Evans says:

    Under US$4M? ‘Seems a bargain (if one’s at this level of net wealth, that is)!

  • fflambeau says:

    Isn’t this lawsuit coming a bit late?

  • maria mirkopulos says:

    For her brother to put this to press, it would have been wise for him
    to include paperwork, and the form that was ommitted. Otherwise, every thing he says is heresay.

  • Guest says:

    A lay individual cannot really sign an ‘informed consent’. You have to be medically trained to the same level as both the surgeon and the anaesthetist, to make a properly informed decision.