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Medical Negligence Case Studies

Woman dies after bowel negligently perforated during surgery

Obese patient aged 27 years with adhesions from previous operative procedures sustained bowel perforation during hysteroscopy and laparoscopic adhesiolysis. This was recognised by the operating Obs & Gynae surgeon who sought advice from a general surgeon. He did not attend but advised by telephone and was told that there was no evidence of a full thickness bowel perforation and that repair could be adequately performed. Within approximately 8 hours the Claimant became tachycardic and pyrexial. Her condition deterioriated but it was not until the third post-operative day that a second procedure was performed which confirmed extensive peritonitis. The patient died 5 days later. Liability admitted following investigation through NHS Complaints procedure.

Total damages of £100,000 comprising general damages for the deceased's pain and suffering for approximately 10 days. Dependency claim approached on basis that the couple did not plan to have children, thus the deceased would be working full-time to age 60. Loss of pension also awarded. CFA funded.

Woman compensated after abnormal smear overlooked

Claimant's abnormal smear was missed in 2003 and two years later a tumour developed causing her to undergo radical surgery leading to loss of fertility. At settlement she was clear of cancer and had returned to work. Future loss of earnings claim was made on basis of continuing disability although by settlement there were few residual problems. General damages were estimated at around £100,000.00 and claim settled for £200,000.00 which included past losses of about £30,000.00. Conditional fee agreement.

Significant compensation paid following birth injury

The case involved negligent delivery at birth where the client suffered a brachial plexus palsy leading to limitation on the use of his left arm. Liability was denied throughout the case however settlement was reached with an award achieved of over £400,000.00.

Payout for child who suffered cerebral palsy due to negligent delivery

A baby boy was born at full-term following an undiagnosed breech at a late stage. His parents were not given choices regarding the mode of delivery and a decision was made by the hospital staff to attempt a normal delivery (as opposed to a Caesarean section). Delivery was lengthy and complicated and the baby’s heart rate indicated that he was distressed. The baby was born in a poor condition and needed resuscitation, taking his first breath after 8 minutes. He developed abnormal movements during his first hours of life and was subsequently diagnosed with brain damage as a result of a profound period of oxygen starvation a few minutes prior to his delivery.

The boy, now aged 9, suffers from cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs. He also has problems with tongue control. His intellect is unaffected and he attends a mainstream primary school.

Liability was admitted by the NHS and the claim proceeded on the basis of assessment of the damages alone, involving evidence from experts in 10 separate areas of expertise. The boy has a near-normal life expectancy. Settlement terms were agreed with the boy receiving a lump sum of £2.5 million plus periodical payments for life starting at £27,000 per year, increasing over the course of time to £170,000 per year from age 55 onwards, as his care and case management needs increase.

Negligent surgery results in kidney removal

The case involved negligent surgery and follow up treatment after the client underwent a right oophorectomy. At this time the client’s right ureter was incorrectly tied leading to the end of the ureter being free to drain into her peritoneal cavity. Investigations into the cause of the fluid build-up carried on for a year before a diagnosis was provided. The client suffered irreparable damage to her right kidney which had to be removed. Liability was admitted but causation of injuries disputed. The claim was settled for over £100,000.00.

Negligent misinterpretation of X-ray and undiagnosed knee injury leads to successful damages claim

The client suffered a left knee injury whilst playing football. Upon attending hospital an MRI scan of his left knee was incorrectly reported on as showing no abnormality when in fact he was later found to have suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear. Because of the late diagnosis he was given incorrect treatment and suffered a fall in which he suffered a tear of the medial meniscus. The Client was immobilised for a year longer than he should have been due to the tear of the medial meniscus. Liability was accepted and an award agreed at £100,000.00.