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Recent Cases - Clinical Negligence

Wrong Skin Lesion Removed

Our client (aged 44) was referred to the Dermatology Clinic by her GP to have a suspicious lesion (mole) on her right forearm removed. The procedure was carried out by the dermatology nurse practitioner. When our client removed the dressing a couple of days later she found that the wrong skin lesion had been removed. She went back to the clinic to report the error and to have the correct lesion removed. As a result of this negligence she underwent an additional unnecessary procedure, causing avoidable pain and suffering which has left her with a small residual scar on her forearm. Liability was admitted.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £4,000.00 for this client during 2015

Administrative error leads to deterioration in eyesight

Our client (now aged 67) was unhappy with treatment she received at hospital. There was an administrative delay in providing a three month follow up appointment which caused damage to her eye resulting in deterioration of her eyesight. As a result of the delay, her pre-existing viteromacular traction in her right eye progressed to a full thickness macular hole requiring a vitrectomy. It was our case that her final visual outcome was worse than it would have been as a result of this delay. The hospital accepted that the care fell below an acceptable standard but disputed the level of harm caused.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £20,000.00 for this client during 2015

Dentist’s failure to recognise and treat periodontal disease

Our Client (aged 48) had been using the same dentist for an 11 year period. During that time, she developed severe gum disease but this was not recognised or adequately treated by her dentist nor was she referred on for more specialist treatment until it was too late. As a result of the delay, she required the extraction of upto five teeth, upto five dental implants (to replace the lost teeth) and maintenance treatment at three month intervals for the remainder of her lifetime. The Dentist admitted that the care had fallen below an acceptable standard but alleged that our client would not lose all five teeth and that, as an ex-smoker, she would have suffered some periodontal disease in any event. Court proceedings were issued, but we were able to settle the claim out of Court.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £47,500.00 for this client during 2014

Fragment of a surgical instrument left in a patient

We acted for a client (aged 59) who underwent a bilateral knee arthroscopy during August 2006 at Great Western Hospital in Swindon. During the course of the surgery, the tip of a surgical blade broke off and migrated into the back of his left knee joint. The surgeon was unable to retrieve this tip and it was then left in his knee until 2012 when another doctor said that it should be removed as it presented a potential danger. Following surgery to remove the fragment, he made a full recovery from this episode. It was our case that the surgical blade should not have broken in the first place without there being negligence on the part of the surgeon and it should have been removed in 2006 and not 2012. We felt that breaking a surgical instrument and leaving a fragment behind within a patient amounted to a “never event”. The Hospital disagreed and denied liability and also argued that our client’s claim was time barred in that he should have issued proceedings by no later than 2009 ie. the 3 year anniversary of the alleged negligence. Proceedings were issued and a Defence was filed by the Hospital Trust which maintained their earlier position. Nevertheless, their solicitors made an early offer to settle our client’s claim which he was happy with.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £10,000.00 for this client during 2014


Bad care at hospital resulting in a DVT

Another client of ours (aged 42) was unhappy with treatment which he received at the Royal United Hospital in Bath during 2009 and 2012. His complaint can be summarised as follows:-

  • Firstly, during a routine varicose vein surgery in February 2009, adequate precautions were not taken to prevent him from later developing a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and a pulmonary embolus (PE);
  • and secondly, on his further admission during 2012 with back and leg pain following an accident at work, once again, adequate precautions to counter deep venous thrombosis were not taken and he developed a second DVT.

He now suffers from a post thrombotic syndrome of the left leg characterised by swelling, secondary varicose veins and well established skin changes of chronic venous insufficiency. He is at significantly greater risk of further DVT’s (and PE’s). He will also need to wear knee length stockings every day. He has had to stop work as a lorry driver. He will find it difficult to find sedentary office type work.

This was a complicated case to value as our client also had an unrelated serious back problem caused by his accident at work which also prevented him from returning to work. A letter of claim was submitted to the Hospital Trust and liability was disputed. Proceedings had to be issued and in a Defence filed by their solicitors, they disputed liability for the alleged 2009 negligence but accepted liability for the 2012 negligence.

Our client was understandably anxious to resolve this case and after discussions with the Hospital Trust’s solicitors, we were able to agree upon a settlement figure which he was happy with.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £50,000.00 for this client during 2014


Loss of a husband

We acted for a client following the death of her husband whilst an inpatient at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon. Her husband (aged 71) had been admitted to the hospital for a laparoscopic right hemi-colectomy. Following that surgery, in December 2011, he was then transferred to ICU. There was then a failure to monitor him appropriately, and he suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of an internal bleed to the duodenal ulcer. It was our case that the bleeding should have been detected with competent management and treated with blood transfusion before the cause of the bleeding was found and treated. If this had happened we believe that her husband would have survived. The Health Service Ombudsman looked into what happened at the hospital and in their report had highlighted a number of “service failures” in how the deceased had been treated. A letter of claim was submitted on behalf of our client to the Hospital Trust and they accepted liability for his death. Shortly afterwards, we were able to negotiate a settlement on her behalf which included a claim for loss of financial dependency (as a consequence of his death her state pension would now be less).

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £41,250.00 for this client during 2014


“Never event”

On the 16 October 2011, one of our clients was gardening with his parents at their home when a thorn went into his right ring finger. He attended the A & E department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire. Due to his ongoing pain in this finger he was later referred by the hospital to their Fracture Clinic. He saw one of the Associates in Trauma and Orthopaedics on the 9 November 2011. He returned to the A & E department on the 8 December 2011 as the pain in his finger was continuing. He had an x-ray and scan which showed that he had a lesion in this finger caused by a foreign body. He underwent surgery on the 9 February 2012 to remove this foreign body but the surgeon inadvertently operated on his right middle finger by mistake. On realising his error, he stopped and then proceeded to operate on the injured right ring finger. Our client was critical of the care which he received at the hospital in that he was left with avoidable ongoing residual symptoms in his right middle finger which impacted on his life for a period of time. This was a strong case on its merits as this type of injury should not occur (ie. it is what doctors call a “never event”). Our independent expert agreed and in his opinion by about April 2014, he should be fully recovered from this episode. A letter of claim was submitted to the Hospital Trust and after protracted negotiations, we were able to agree upon a settlement figure for our client which included a claim for partial loss of earnings.

S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £15,000.00 for this client during 2014