Hospital Negligence | Success Stories | Bolt Burdon Kemp Hospital Negligence | Success Stories | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Success Stories for Hospital Negligence Claims

You are now reading our Hospital Negligence Claims success stories.

Bile duct injury during cholecystectomy

Our client suffered an avoidable injury during the course of a cholecystectomy.  The surgeon wrongly identified the Claimant’s bile duct anatomy because of severe inflammation, leading to him wrongly removing the upper common bile duct and lower hepatic duct along with our client’s gallbladder.  Our client then needed complex surgery, after being transferred to a more experienced hospital, to create a new bile duct using his own intestines.

Our client now has lifelong needs and has to be regularly monitored, all of which interferes with his daily family life and ability to work.

The hospital where the negligent surgery was carried out strongly defended the claim until three months before trial.  We believed in our client’s case, even in the face of strong opposition and made clear to the hospital that we would go to trial with our client if they wouldn’t settle the case.  The hospital came to the negotiating table and our client accepted a settlement of £85,000, which will go a long way to helping him and his family in the future.

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.

Delayed diagnosis of ischaemic leg condition 

In 2016, Mr Evans presented to an Accident & Emergency department complaining of severe pain and discolouring in his leg, which had worsened over a couple of days.  Unfortunately, the examination of Mr Evans’ leg was not carried out properly and it was wrongly recorded that there were pulses present in his leg.  As such, he was deemed suitable for discharge and sent home.

Unfortunately, Mr  Evans’ condition deteriorated throughout the day and he returned to A&E again later that evening.  Despite his second attendance, Mr Evans was triaged at an inappropriately low level and so 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-the-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 instructed by us in this claim were of the opinion that had this occurred, the blood flow to Mr Evans’ leg could have been restored, without the need for any amputation.  In addition to the amputation, Mr Evans sustained vascular injuries to his pelvis which in turn impacted upon his urological and sexual function.

By working cooperatively with the solicitors for the Defendant NHS Trust throughout, we secured an early admission of liability and a substantial interim payment, which allowed us to implement measures to improve our client’s quality of life.

The claim was settled for £550,0000 just before we needed 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.

Negligent surgery to remove polyps

The Claimant underwent surgery to remove two polyps from her uterus. On the first attempt the surgeon failed to identify and remove one of the polyps. The Claimant flagged this up and an ultrasound scan showed that there was still a polyp present. At the second attempt, the Claimant suffered a perforation of the uterus and a bowel injury, which the surgeon identified and repaired during the operation. After surgery the Claimant required admission to hospital for abdominal pains. She went on to develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The Claimant required a further operation to remove the remaining polyp.

The claim was settled for £23,500.

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 picked up despite the fact that all of her pregnancy blood results showed a dangerously low platelet count which should have alerted the midwives to this condition. There was even a note from the laboratory which carried out one of the tests alerting the midwives to this and suggesting a repeat blood test which was not actioned.

It was not until Ms E was in labour that her condition was eventually picked up by the hospital staff.  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. The hospital staff advised that she had to have an emergency C-section as there was a risk of haemorrhage to both the mother and the baby.

Fortunately, Mrs E’s daughter was delivered safely following the C-section but 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. The scan was normal and she was transferred back to the hospital where her daughter was staying.

The baby initially had a very low platelet count and had to be investigated for internal bleeding and other conditions. Fortunately, her platelet count subsequently went back to normal and they were both discharged home.

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 had been picked up sooner.

After an admission of liability from the Defendant hospital, the case settled for £40,000.

Delayed diagnosis of discitis

Our client developed infective discitis following spinal surgery. He attended his local A&E department complaining of crippling pain and limited mobility, but was discharged without investigation. As a result, effective treatment for his infection was not implemented for over a month.  Due to the delay in diagnosis and treatment, our client was left with chronic leg, back and hip pain, severely restricted mobility and substantial disability. He is incapable of work or any significant domestic activity. medical negligence solicitors settled the claim shortly before trial for a lump sum of £1 million and annual periodical payments of £50,000 for his lifetime.

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.

Delayed diagnosis of slipped hip

Our client, aged 11, suffered 6 months of unnecessary pain and suffering as a result of a delay in the diagnosis of a right capital epiphyses. The delay itself did not result in any permanent disability. Our clinical negligence solicitors settled the claim for £14,000.

Delayed diagnosis of wrist fracture

Our client attended an NHS hospital following a motor scooter accident. He was misdiagnosed with a sprained dominant left wrist and was discharged with no follow-up. In fact, our client had suffered a fracture to the scaphoid bone in his left wrist, which was discovered some seven months later. Due to the delay in diagnosis, our client had to undergo open reduction and internal fixation of his left scaphoid fracture with bone grafting, but made a good recovery. The claim settled for £10,000.

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.

Negligent surgical treatment

Our client worked as a classroom assistant in a school for children with special needs. She developed arthritis in her trapezium bone in the wrist. Her doctor recommended that this should be removed, however the operation at a private hospital was negligently performed, leaving the great majority of the trapezium behind. Our client had to undergo a second operation to remove the trapezium, which although properly performed resulted in complications including chronic neuralgic pain. As a result of the medical negligence, our client had to reduce her hours at work, despite her employers making adjustments for her disability. Compensation was sought for her injury, loss of earnings, pension loss, aids and equipment (including an automatic car with power steering), medical expenses and care. The claim settled for £70,000.

Misdiagnosis and delay in diagnosis of foot injury

Our client fell from a height and hurt his foot. He attended Accident & Emergency and was given an appointment to return and be seen at the fracture clinic three weeks later. He was treated for an isolated fracture of the third metatarsal and subsequently discharged. He sought a second opinion after his pain failed to subside. A correct diagnosis was then made and he was found to have a severe Lisfranc injury to his right foot. As a result of the delay our client had to undergo complex surgery and to use orthotics in his shoes every day. He cannot stand for long periods of time, run recreationally or play football. The claim settled for £35,000.

Misdiagnosis and inappropriate drugs

Our client stopped taking Warfarin in preparation for a heart valve operation on the advice of doctors. The operation was cancelled, but Warfarin treatment was not recommenced. As a result of this medical negligence our client suffered a major stroke and was left with reduced life expectancy, impaired mobility, difficulty swallowing and incontinence. The medical negligence claim settled for a lump sum of £105,000 plus additional annual payments of £40,000 to fund private care for the duration of our client’s life.

Surgical error

Our client’s claim related to private treatment. An operation was performed by the Defendant, a consultant gynaecologist, to remove a dermoid ovarian cyst, which was perforated during the procedure. Our client subsequently suffered with significant life threatening complications, with chemical peritonitis, requiring repair operations, and a long-term psychiatric injury.

The claim settled for £100,000 in September 2010.

Death following fall in hospital

The deceased was a gentleman in his eighties with a complex medical history that included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, confusion/dementia, congestive heart failure and limited mobility. He was admitted to hospital suffering from an acute exacerbation of his COPD. No falls risk assessment was completed and no precautions were taken to reduce the risk of a fall. He subsequently fell whilst attempting to walk to the bathroom unaided and fractured his hip. There was a delay in diagnosing the fracture and performing surgery once the fracture was diagnosed. The deceased developed pneumonia and slipped into a coma. Our client was not properly informed of the seriousness of her husband’s condition and a “do not resuscitate” order was imposed without our client’s knowledge.

Claims were brought under the Fatal Accidents Act for PSLA, bereavement damages, funeral expenses and loss of dependency (based on a small loss of pension income) and under the Human Rights Act for breach of our client’s own Article 8 right to a private and family life. The claim was settled for £25,000.

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