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£1,250,000 settlement for negligent neurosurgery

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Neil Crossley, Head of Clinical Negligence at our Bolton office, settled a case for a claimant who had sustained injury due to negligent brain surgery.

Background

The claimant, underwent neurosurgery to treat trigeminal neuralgia in January 2013. The surgery concerned was a decompression operation on her right trigeminal nerve, although prior to this she had been treated with glycerol injections to her right trigeminal nerve.

During the operation, the claimant suffered a stroke, severe haemorrhaging and swelling in her cerebellum and direct injury to the trigeminal nerve and oculomotor and facial nerves. The injury caused severe and permanent symptoms, including extensive loss of motor function; facial palsy; and vision, speech and hearing impairments such that her quality of life was severely impacted by her condition.

Investigation

An action was brought against the hospital trust alleging that the consultant neurosurgeon was negligent both prior to and during the operation.

It was alleged that the neurosurgeon was negligent in (i) failing to advise her that there was an increased risk of adhesions following the glycerol injections she had previously received; (ii) failing to advise her as to the benefits of other alternative treatments; (iii) failing to advise her that the proposed microvascular decompression surgery might need to be stopped if adhesions were encountered because of the danger and high probability that continuing the surgery would lead to her suffering a stroke; (iv) failing to stop during surgery upon encountering dense adhesions.

Settlement

The Claimant’s abilities to work and carry out her activities of daily living were affected by the severe brain injury sustained during and as a result of the operation.

A settlement of £1,250,000 was achieved for pain and suffering and loss of amenity; past and future loss of earnings; future housing and household expenses; and past and future care, equipment and rehabilitation.

Have you or a member of your family suffered a brain injury due to a medical mistake?

A brain injury can be catastrophic for both the affected person and their family. Depending on the severity of the condition, life after the injury may never be the same. The physical and mental impact on both the injured party and their loved ones can be significant, and not only that, there can be serious financial implications too, especially where the costs of lifelong care; equipment costs; and treatment are to be taken into account.

If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury due to medical or clinical negligence, then you could be entitled to make a brain injury compensation claim. Here at Been Let Down, our specialist solicitors have settled many medical negligence compensation claims for those who have suffered an avoidable brain injury.

£835,000 settlement for negligent spinal surgery

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Neil Crossley, Head of Clinical Negligence at our Bolton office, settled a case for a claimant who had sustained injury due to negligent spinal surgery.

Background

The Claimant, who previously worked as a part-time cook in a local café, visited hospital to undergo spinal surgery on 4th June 2014. This was to remove her right cervical rib, which had been causing significant discomfort. However, during the operation, the treating surgeon negligently removed portions of the Claimant’s C7 vertebra, which in turn caused permanent spinal cord damage.

The injury resulted in the Claimant suffering permanent weakness in her legs and in the right side of her body. Her mobility and stability were significantly compromised and there were also permanent urological symptoms, including urgency and incontinence, all of which combined to cause her a significant degree of disability.

Investigation

An action was brought against the hospital trust alleging that its spinal surgeon was negligent in (i) failing to perform the surgery to which she had consented; and (ii) mistakenly performing a vertebral resection (a laminectomy), as opposed to simply the removal of the cervical rib.

It was alleged that the surgeon’s treatment fell below the standard of care to be expected of a reasonably competent Consultant Spinal Surgeon and that it was unconscionable that he should perform entirely the wrong operation in breach of the Claimant’s consent; and perform such an extensive resection that her neck was rendered unstable and she suffered significant neurological damage.

Settlement

The Claimant’s abilities to work and carry out her activities of daily living were affected by the limitations of her movement and function in her right hand. This also prevented her taking part in many of her former social activities, such as dancing, and sports.

A settlement of £835,000 was achieved for her pain and suffering and loss of amenity loss of earnings, past and future loss of earnings; future housing adaptation costs and household expenses; and past and future care; equipment; and rehabilitation.

Have you or a member of your family been injured following a surgical error?

Claiming compensation for surgical errors can feel like an overwhelming prospect, especially when you and your family are already trying to come to terms with the after effects of an operation that was either unnecessary or has gone wrong.

We’re on hand to guide you through your surgical error compensation claim.

We’ll listen carefully to your circumstances and handle your case with the utmost sensitivity and professionalism, allowing you and your loved ones to focus on rehabilitation and recovery, all you have to do is get in touch with our team or make an online enquiry.

 

How will Coronavirus affect my Claim?

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Since the very start of the coronavirus pandemic, so many of my clients have been asking me how their clinical negligence claim is likely to be affected, and this is something, which has only increased since the UK entered lockdown.

This is a very worrying and totally unprecedented era within our lifetimes, such that I fully appreciate the concern that clients naturally have about every aspect of their lives and the future.

As a legal firm, Been Let Down is classified as an essential businesses for facilitating the administration of justice. Therefore, I would first like to reassure all existing and future clients that we are still here for each and every one of you during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Been Let Down has enabled our employees to work from home wherever possible to protect their health in-line with the government guidelines, thereby ensuring we play our part in halting the spread of coronavirus, and to ensure we can continue to provide all our clients with the best service possible. We have upgraded our IT systems to ensure that there will be no interruption to the work we do tirelessly on your behalf, as your file handler can securely work on your matter remotely and has all the necessary tools and software to continue working efficiently on your behalf.

We continue to be able to conduct meetings by phone; Skype; Zoom; and FaceTime, so that we can remain connected to you and each of our colleagues during this time of self-isolation. We remain here for our clients and will continue to support access to justice during this worrying time.

In practical terms, the biggest impact of the UK coronavirus lockdown has understandably been in relation to Court hearings, as many of these were held face-to-face. As such, some adjournment of face-to-face hearings has been necessary for the safety of the public and Court staff alike. Of course, wherever possible, the Courts are trying to deal with as many hearings as they possibly can remotely by telephone conferencing, or by video, via Skype and other similar services.

All legal personnel, whether they be solicitors, barristers or Court staff have been rallying round to make this work for the continued administration of justice during this difficult and unprecedented time. Indeed, just the other day, a senior clinical negligence barrister with whom I regularly work was telling me about his experience of conducting a Trial hearing via Skype. His opinion? Well, there were a few technical glitches, but everyone involved, including the presiding Judge, worked extremely hard to make it work and they got through the full Trial hearing.

In my experience, all parties have been working very hard to ensure that there is as little disruption as humanly possible to the progression of cases. This includes Defendant’s representatives, including NHS Resolution, who handle claims on behalf of hospital Trusts, who are predominantly working remotely and are using every available tool to keep cases on track.

In this regard, I have encountered an unprecedented level of co-operation, with all parties seeking to agree any necessary extensions of time. This has inevitably included extending time for receipt of medical evidence and other documents that depend on those reports, such as responses to letters of claim, as medical experts have necessarily been prevented from seeing clients in face-to-face consultations, although where possible they have conducted telephone and video consultations.

This spirit of co-operation has also included, where necessary, agreeing extensions to the Limitation period for claims. This is the three year time period from the date of negligence or a Claimant’s date of knowledge that something went wrong with their treatment, causing them injury, within which a claim must be settled or Court proceedings issued to protect the right to claim. This has been done in the interests of all concerned, to preserve the administration of justice, not least of which is the need to avoid placing an extra burden on the Court system at this time.

Finally, I would just like to reassure people, whether you are an existing or potential client, we are striving to ensure that we progress each claim as quickly as possible in the wake of COVID-19, and that we preserve your access to justice in these times.

I would leave you with my heartfelt best wishes at this difficult time. I hope that each of you, and your loved ones, come through this difficult crisis safe and sound, although in the meantime, we remain here for you.

Author

Neil Crossley

Solicitor and Head of Clinical Negligence (Bolton)