Success Stories for Medical Negligence
Negligent surgery to remove the gallbladder leads to six-figure settlement
Our client underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy (keyhole surgery to remove the gallbladder) in her late 30’s. During surgery, the surgeon negligently damaged the bile duct and failed to detect this. Our client suffered various post-operative symptoms, including persistent pain, nausea and weight loss, and these continued until her bile duct injury was finally diagnosed – almost 6 years later. She required further surgery to repair the injury and, although successful, she continued to suffer widespread pain and fatigue. Despite regularly reporting her symptoms to medical staff, and undergoing numerous tests both privately and under the NHS, no physical cause for her symptoms could be established.
As part of her legal claim, our client saw various medical experts, including experts in pain management and psychiatry, who found that she had in fact developed persistent somatoform pain disorder (also known as somatic symptom disorder). This is a psychiatric disorder where the body feels symptoms which do not have a physical source, and the experts agreed that it occurred as a behavioural response to the trauma she suffered following her negligently performed surgery. She continues to suffer debilitating pain and fatigue which impact her ability to work, and as a result of which she requires assistance with day-to-day activities. We were delighted to achieve settlement for her of £375,000 at a joint settlement meeting.
£40,000 for delay in diagnosing immune thrombocytopenic purpura
Ms E, unknown to her, developed immune thrombocytopenic purpura during her first pregnancy. Sadly, this serious and life threatening condition was not identified during her pregnancy. It was not until Ms E was in labour that hospital staff picked up on her condition. By that point she had already been administered an epidural to help with the labour pain meaning that there was a substantial risk of epidural haematoma (internal bleeding into the spine) and permanent paralysis. After the birth, she reported loss of sensation in her legs and had to be transferred to another hospital to undergo an MRI scan to exclude epidural haematoma. Ms E subsequently developed psychiatric injuries as a result of these traumatic events, all of which could have been easily avoided had the dangerously low platelet count been picked up sooner. After an admission of liability from the Defendant hospital, the case was settled for £40,000.
Never Event resulting in avoidable death of husband
We acted for a Widow whose husband died as a result of a ‘Never Event’ at a London hospital. The NG feeding tube, which was meant to carry nutrients directly into his stomach, was instead placed into his lungs. There were many failures identified in his care with a catalogue of errors which tragically resulted in the completely avoidable death of our client’s husband.
A serious incident was declared and the NHS Trust did, on this occasion, provide full Duty of Candour explanations to our client and her family. The Trust admitted liability very early on which resulted in a swift settlement, in just under a year, for our client, of £38,000. This compensation will of course never make up for the death of her husband but it will hopefully go some way towards helping support the family financially in the future. More importantly, we were able to secure a full letter of apology for the family from the CEO of the NHS Trust, apologising unreservedly for the failings in the care they provided.
£250,000 for delay in diagnosing cervical cancer, leading to infertility for young female
We acted for a young lady who suffered a one year delay in diagnosis of cervical cancer after visiting a gynaecologist at her GP surgery, who missed the signs of cancer. As a result of the delay, our client required aggressive treatment including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which lead to her womb being damaged and the possibility that she may not be able to conceive and carry a child of her own.
We obtained expert evidence from an Oncologist and Gynaeoncologist who confirmed that if our client had been correctly diagnosed earlier, she would have avoided the chemotherapy and radiotherapy and her fertility would not have been affected.
As a consequence of the delay in diagnosis, our client suffered the physical effects of the chemotherapy and radiotherapy, permanent damage to her fertility and depression and anxiety which impacted her overall quality of life. As part of the her claim for compensation, we included psychiatric treatment to help our client come to terms with her injuries and a claim for surrogacy costs to provide the financial support she needed as she wanted to have children in the future.
Liability was denied but despite this we were able to negotiate with the Defendant and we successfully secured compensation for our client of £250,000.
Delay in emergency c-section lead to stillborn baby
Our client suffered a stillbirth of her child. This happened because of a delay in performing an emergency C section. Our client’s baby’s heartbeat was monitored during the labour using a cardiotocography (CTG) machine. The CTG trace was incorrectly interpreted on several occasions throughout her labour and the medical team didn’t realise that her baby was in distress. Heartbreakingly, this meant that her baby was still born.
Following an inquest, during which the coroner was critical of the Defendant Trust’s care, our client came to us to pursue a clinical negligence claim.
This claim was fought at every turn by the Defendant but we robustly pushed forward. After beginning the claim at Court, we successfully negotiated compensation for our client of £38,000.
£250,000 for fatal delay in diagnosing lung cancer
We represented a male client who suffered a 10 month delay in diagnosing lung cancer. Our client had an x-ray which showed a tumour, but because of an administrative error at the hospital, he was not called back for treatment. Tragically, this meant that the cancer was too advanced to successfully treat it when he was finally diagnosed 10 months later. Our client died as a result of the negligence.
His family continued the claim and brought a financial dependency claim. This type of claim can be brought by family members who were financially reliant on someone who died as a result of negligence.
The Defendant admitted liability, but they denied a significant part of the dependency claim. We fought hard to obtain justice for the grieving family and successfully secured £250,000 for them.
Delay in diagnosis of young lady’s breast cancer lead to her death
We acted for a young woman who suffered a three year delay in diagnosis of breast cancer. Her symptoms – a lump and nipple discharge – were not considered suspicious initially because of her very young age.
By the time she was diagnosed, the cancer had spread through her body. She had very aggressive cancer treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but her cancer was too advanced to be controlled and she very sadly died of the disease.
Her mother continued to fight her deceased daughter’s case. We helped her mother to conclude the legal claim her daughter had started.
The claim was fiercely defended by the Defendant. However, shortly after we issued the claim in the court the Defendant finally succumbed and we were able to obtain compensation of £90,000 for our client.
Negligent gall bladder removal surgery
Our client underwent gall bladder removal surgery (cholecystectomy). During the operation, surgical error damaged the common hepatic duct causing bile to leak into our client’s abdomen. After receiving expert evidence, our client’s injuries were found to be caused by either diathermy cautery (heat used to seal blood vessels) used during the surgery or by a blunt trauma (from a surgical instrument). The medical expert advised that either way, the fact that the common hepatic duct was damaged would constitute negligent care.
Our client suffered bile peritonitis as a result of the injury and she was readmitted to hospital a few days later where she needed further surgery.
As a consequence of the surgical error, our client suffered abdominal pain, bloating, and risks of developing very serious complications later in life. Our client also suffered with PTSD and anxiety which impacted her overall quality of life.
Liability was partially admitted when a Defence was served and following a case management hearing at Court, the claim settled for £65,000.
Surgical damage to uterus causes infertility
Our client sadly suffered a miscarriage and had to undergo a surgical procedure. During this operation her uterus was pierced which caused internal bleeding. She then had to undergo open surgery to repair the damage which resulted in abdominal scarring. The surgery also left her with extensive internal adhesions which tragically left her only able to conceive through IVF. Our client continues to suffer from pain which greatly restricts her day to day life. She also suffered a significant psychiatric injury and has required counselling. She is also at risk of further gynaecological complications. Her employment is affected and she required adaptations to her home. The claim successfully settled for £350,000.
Failure to treat wrist fracture
Our client, a soldier, attended the Defendant’s A&E department with a wrist injury sustained while playing football. A scaphoid fracture was suspected, but our client’s wrist was not immobilised and he was not advised to re-attend within a maximum period. He was left with the impression that the wrist was merely sprained. He continued to experience pain and his career suffered. Some four years after the original injury the fracture was identified, but surgery was unsuccessful in relieving his significant pain. Our client was medically discharged from the Army. The claim settled for £160,000.
Failure to diagnose meningitis
Our client attended A&E with her mother complaining of symptoms including uncontrollable shaking, feeling extremely hot, profuse sweating and a fever. She was seen by a doctor, who after a brief examination, diagnosed exam stress. He discharged her with no further advice. Our client’s mother took her home where she vomited profusely and her condition got markedly worse overnight until she appeared pale, cold and lifeless.
Our client’s mother telephoned for an ambulance and our client was taken back to the A & E Department. She was seen by a doctor who diagnosed a bacterial infection and admitted her. Unfortunately, our client’s condition was not further reviewed until several hours later, when she was diagnosed as seriously ill with signs of meningitis. Our client was immediately admitted to ITU and treated with intravenous antibiotics.
Our client survived but developed disseminated intra vascular coagulation with severe ischaemic changes in her right hand and in both feet. Her right hand and both feet became gangrenous and were eventually amputated. Our client also underwent multiple skin graft operations and suffered from scarring where the grafts were taken. She spent a prolonged period in hospital undergoing strenuous physiotherapy and rehabilitation and was eventually discharged home. Our client required 24 hour care for several months.
Her medical negligence claim settled for £850,000.
Delayed diagnosis of critical limb ischaemia
Our client was born with Down’s Syndrome. When he was less than 2 weeks old he was taken by his parents to a paediatric cardiologist who failed to diagnose his critical limb ischaemia or to admit him for vascular review. As a result of a 12 day delay in treatment the condition of our client’s leg deteriorated and he required a below the knee amputation. The claim settled for £900,000.
Delay in diagnosis of compartment syndrome
Our client was a semi-professional footballer and personal trainer to sports professionals. His career in both areas ended at an early stage as a result of a negligent delay in diagnosing compartment syndrome after breaking his leg at 19 years of age, leading him to suffer with pain and requiring several operations to reduce his pain. He now suffers with a permanent disability and is unable to participate in physical activities, and is unable to walk long distances without breaks. Whilst he found alternative employment, he suffered significant loss of future earnings, both in relation to football and personal training careers. Comprehensive evidence was required on his prospects of success in each career. The claim settled for £500,000.
Settlement of £550,000 for delay in diagnosis of vascular condition
In 2016, Mr Evans presented to an Accident & Emergency department complaining of severe pain and discolouring in his leg, worsening over a couple of days. Unfortunately, the examination of Mr Evans’ leg was undertaken negligently and it was wrongly recorded that there were pulses present in his leg. As such, he was deemed suitable for discharge and he was allowed home.
However, Mr Evans’ condition deteriorated throughout the day and he presented again at A&E late that evening. Despite his second attendance, Mr Evans was triaged at an inappropriately low level and there was a further delay before the seriousness of his condition was established. Mr Evans was later transferred to a neighbouring hospital under the care of specialist vascular surgeons but it was too late and Mr Evans had to undergo an above knee leg amputation.
With access to some of the nation’s best experts, it was soon established that the decision to discharge Mr Evans was negligent. Had the examination in A&E been carried out to a reasonable standard of care, Mr Evans’ serious ischaemic leg condition (an impairment of blood flow to his lower limb) would have been diagnosed and he would have been treated far sooner. The vascular experts advised that had this occurred, the blood flow to Mr Evans’ leg could have been restored negating the need for amputation. In addition to the amputation, Mr Evans sustained vascular injuries to his pelvis which in turn impacted on his urological and sexual function.
By working cooperatively with the solicitors for the Defendant NHS Trust throughout, an early admission of liability was made and a substantial interim payment secured to allow us implement measures to improve his quality of life. Settlement in the sum of £550,0000 shortly followed before the need to issue Court Proceedings, allowing Mr Evans the opportunity to move on with his life in the comfort of knowing his future needs would be provided for.
Surgery conducted with inappropriate shoulder prosthetic leads to settlement
Mrs B underwent orthopaedic surgery at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (“RNOH”) in London under the care of Mr Simon Lambert, a specialist in the treatment of shoulder and elbow conditions. Mrs B was promised that the surgery would bring about improved stability and function in her damaged shoulder joint.
The shoulder prosthetic which was used in the surgery was both unregulated and untested in shoulders. The particular implant is known as PEEK, a synthetic plastic – an abbreviation for its full name ‘polyetheretherketone’.
RNOH’s investigations revealed that Mr Lambert was using PEEK in shoulder surgery from 2008 until around 2013. At least 20 patients were operated on using PEEK. It’s suspected that none of them were aware that the use of PEEK in shoulder surgery was unauthorised or untested at the time that they agreed to undergo surgery. The PEEK operations failed, for one reason or another, and these patients have had to undergo more surgery as a result. We know that some patients have had to undergo multiple revision surgeries, and have still been left with significant pain and mobility problems.
In Mrs B’s case, the implant went on to fail and she had further surgery. It was eventually removed two years later.
Mrs B instructed BBK to investigate her claim after she learned of the scandal surrounding the use of PEEK. Within 9 months of being instructed, Mrs B’s claim was settled without the need for Court Proceedings in the sum of £40,000. BBK has represented several Claimants who have brought successful claims against Mr Lambert for the use of PEEK.
Rod Irvine negligent laparotomy surgery settlement
Our client underwent a laparotomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in 2006. During the operation the surgeon, Rod Irvine, perforated our client’s bowel. The surgeon made attempts to re-suture a perforation during the operation. Despite pain and faecally contaminated urine in the post-operative period, our client was not referred to a general surgeon until two days after her surgery, by which stage her wound was leaking bile stained fluid.
Our client was taken for further surgery where it was found that she had a further four or five bowel incisions which had not been repaired during the first operation. Our client had to have a small bowel resection as her bowel was so damaged. Our client suffered from faecal peritonitis and then contracted an MRSA infection. She remained in hospital for a month and following discharge, required district nurse care and further surgery for bowel obstructions. Our client continues to have to monitor her food and treat any potential bowel obstructions with a liquid diet.
Despite the fact that the unrepaired bowel incisions had been noted in further surgery, liability was denied by the Defendant. An expert was instructed to comment on liability jointly with the Defendant. This report identified breach of duty and causation in relation to the failure to repair the bowel incisions during the initial surgery. The Defendant then accepted responsibility for the claim and we negotiated a settlement of £70,000 for our client, who was unable to have any future treatment.
Settlement achieved against Rogue Gynaecologist, Mr Rod Irvine
Our client received negligent uro-gynaecological treatment by Mr Rod Irvine at Queen Mary’s Hospital in 2006. She underwent a TVT (tension free vaginal tape) procedure which left her with significantly worse incontinence symptoms which now dictate her day-to-day life. There is no cure for her current symptoms and she has been left with permanent difficulties. The negligence in this case related to a failure to carry out urodynamic testing before making a recommendation that our client have surgery. Had this been done then the surgery would not have been recommended and our client would have avoided the symptoms she now faces on a daily basis. There was a failure to properly obtain our client’s consent for her surgery.
Liability was admitted after we obtained supportive medical evidence and our client received a formal apology from Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust. This was welcomed by our client as recognition for all she had wrongly been through.
The claim successfully settled for £55,000 and our client is overwhelmingly pleased with the outcome and the fact that she now has final closure some 11 years later.
Settlement achieved against rogue maxillofacial surgeon Mr Roger Bainton
Our client received negligent maxillofacial treatment at North Staffs Hospital by Roger Bainton. Investigations into Roger Bainton revealed that his patients underwent avoidable surgery which caused them unnecessary pain and scarring and put them at risk of further injuries, such as infection. As part of the regulatory conditions currently affecting Mr Bainton’s practice, he is now prohibited from treating any patients with temporomandibular joint disorders.
Our client underwent an unnecessary jaw operation for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) and two unnecessary rhinoplasty surgeries. She has been left with ongoing difficulties with her jaw requiring future treatment and surgery. She has a permanently reduced sense of smell and struggles to breathe through her nose.
Liability was admitted early on and our client received an unreserved apology from the Trust for her treatment. This was greatly welcomed by our client and meant that the parties could concentrate on agreeing an appropriate level of compensation for our client’s injuries, rather than wasting time and costs arguing over liability.
The claim successfully settled for £72,000 and our client was elated with the outcome.
Negligent wrist surgery resulted in scarring
Our client developed a severe wound infection following surgery to his wrist. Our client underwent several wound debridements under a general anaesthetic and further surgical procedures to restore some function to his wrist. This resulted in significant scarring. Our client continued to suffer from pain and stiffness in his wrist and forearm which, in turn, affected his daily activities and his ability to work.
Throughout the duration of this claim, the Defendant continued to deny that the treatment afforded to our client was in any way negligent or the cause of our client’s injury. Despite the full denial of liability the claim settled for £80,000.
NHS settle negligent hip replacement case with right to return for more compensation
Our client was a chef who underwent hip replacement surgery at an NHS Trust. The surgery was negligently performed and as a result, our client required hip replacement revision surgery. He was left with reduced mobility and pain that affected his ability to carry out day to day activities and prevented him from returning to work. He will require further hip revision surgery with a possibility that he will be left more disabled in the future than he was at the time of settlement.
As a result of the risk of future complications, we managed to agree that in addition to the compensation he received at settlement of his claim, he also has the right to return to Court for additional compensation if his condition deteriorates.
Our experience in dealing with high value cases where settlements like these have been claimed, allowed us to achieve a great result for this client. The settlement reached has given him the compensation that he needs to deal with his current level of disability and offers him security for the future if his condition deteriorates.
The claim settled successfully for £600,000, plus the right to return for further compensation if his condition deteriorates.
Below the knee amputation after inappropriate treatment of diabetic patient
Our client was a diabetic who suffered an injury to his foot. His injury healed except for one toe which got infected. He was referred to a vascular surgeon who instead of amputating the toe discharged our client, advising him it would fall off by itself. Our client’s toe continued to deteriorate. He went to his hospital and GP on a number of occasions complaining of his worsening condition with pain now extending up his leg. Unfortunately by the time it was treated, our client had to undergo a below the knee amputation. This had a considerable impact on the quality of his life.
We instructed a number of medical experts to ensure that our client had the best possible help with the care and assistance he will need in the future. He required a prosthetic leg, and his home was also adapted.
The medical claim successfully settled for £725,000.
Delayed diagnosis of ovarian cancer
The Claimant presented to A&E in hospital with severe abdominal pain and bloating, two ultrasounds were performed and the Claimant was diagnosed with fibroids. She remained concerned, however she was reassured by her treating gynaecologist. In later follow-up appointments with her gynaecologist, the diagnosis of a necrotic fibroid was maintained and arrangements were made for her to have a hysterectomy a number of months later. During the operation, instead of a fibroid, a large ovarian cyst was discovered and removed. Biopsies confirmed a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
The Claimant received £230,000 in compensation for her injuries and financial losses as a result of the four month delay in diagnosing her ovarian cancer.
Gynaecological injury caused by surgery
Our client sadly suffered a miscarriage and had to undergo a surgical procedure. During this operation her uterus was pierced which caused internal bleeding. She then had to undergo open surgery to repair the damage which resulted in abdominal scarring. The surgery also left her with extensive internal adhesions which tragically left her only able to conceive through IVF.
Our client continues to suffer from pain which greatly restricts her day to day life. She also suffered a significant psychiatric injury and has required counselling. She is also at risk of further gynaecological complications. Her employment is affected and she required adaptations to her home.
The claim successfully settled for £350,000.00.
Delay in diagnosis of myeloma (blood cancer)
Our client attended hospital with symptoms of a severe headache. A blood test indicated that he was suffering from myeloma, but this was not picked up on. He was incorrectly diagnosed as suffering from temporal arteritis, without the correct test to confirm this. He attended hospital on several more occasions with further symptoms including chest and back pain. After a delay of 18 months, the correct diagnosis of myeloma was made and treatment was commenced. The Defendant admitted that there was a negligent delay in diagnosis and treatment. As a result, our client suffered injuries including multiple spinal fractures, which could have been prevented if he had not received negligent treatment. We obtained expert evidence that our client needed additional care and assistance because of the negligence, and he could not return to work.
The negligence had a significant effect on his quality of life. The claim was settled out of court and our client was awarded the sum of £235,000 plus costs.
Unnecessary gynaecological surgery
Our client was referred to a private gynaecologist after a single episode of post-menstrual bleeding. She had no other symptoms. An ultrasound and laparoscopy was performed. She was found to have adhesions to her left ovary and uterus, and a fibroid on one of her ovaries.
She underwent a total hysterectomy and removal of her ovaries despite a registrar’s opinion that it was not needed. The surgery was performed as an open procedure rather than by keyhole. She also suffered from an incisional hernia which had to be repaired in a further procedure.
In summary, our client underwent three unnecessary operations which resulted in physical and psychiatric injuries. The gynaecologist was subject to a GMC investigation and now works subject to a number of conditions.
The claim successfully settled for £48,500.00.
Delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer
The Claimant had a routine smear test which was reported to be normal. Her next smear test five years later detected severe dyskaryosis and she was referred for a colposcopy. She was diagnosed with invasive cancer of the cervix and underwent a radical hysterectomy. An audit of the Claimant’s smear tests identified that the smear test five years previously had been incorrectly reported and had in fact shown pre-cancerous cell changes. Had this earlier smear test been correctly reported the Claimant’s cancer would not have advanced, she would have avoided surgery and the risk of the cancer recurring would have been significantly reduced.
Our medical negligence solicitors settled the claim for £65,000.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of substandard care, our team of experienced solicitors have consistently achieved outstanding results in medical claims. Please contact our medical negligence team on 0203 7406 627 or complete our online medical negligence enquiry form.