Posted by Paul Rumley, Partner
Compensation awarded for spinal injury caused by unnecessary surgery
Our client, Mr R, was 84 years of age as at the date of the negligence, and 88 years of age as at the date of settlement. Mr R had spinal surgery at Salisbury District Hospital in April 2005. It was later questioned whether the surgery should in fact had taken place, as Mr R was not getting worse. His doctors should have waited to see what happened before operating.
The risks and benefits of the surgery were not explained fully to Mr R, and crucially, the surgery itself was not carried out completely. Mr R subsequently had a collar fitted, which caused a significant deterioration in his condition with a delay in further surgery such that he was left almost completely paralysed from the neck down with only slight movement in one of his arms and hands. Mr R remained wheelchair bound for the remainder of his life.
Paul Rumley, a partner in our Clinical Negligence team, eventually settled Mr R’s claim in December 2008, sadly before Mr R died.
The settlement was worth £470,000 made up of approximately £155,000 compensation for pain, suffering and effects upon everyday life, £170,000 for our client’s financial losses including the past and future costs of care and loss of earnings as a District Councillor, plus a guarantee that £110,000 would be paid to the Local Authority if they were successful in reclaiming the past costs of care they had provided to the Claimant and guaranteeing approximately £35,000 per year for the ongoing costs of care if the Local Authority were to withdraw their care from the Claimant in the future in whole or in part.
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