Case Study- Successful claim against a private healthcare provider for damages for personal injuries

Laura Rowe of Trethowans has recently achieved a successful settlement of the Clinical Negligence claim of Mr M against a private healthcare provider.

Trethowans were instructed by Mr M in October 2016 to pursue a claim against a private healthcare provider for damages for personal injuries and consequential losses arising as a result of alleged negligent treatment which Mr M received during a left hip total replacement operation at his local Hospital in Salisbury in January 2016.

Mr M continued to suffer hip pain after the operation and after seeking a second opinion from a private Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, discovered that the surgeon at his local hospital had inserted an undersized femoral stem into his femoral canal and that this was the cause of his ongoing pain.

Mr M had been working as a builder for the previous 30 years. However, as a direct result of his ongoing hip pain, Mr M had no choice but to wind up his building partnership 12 months earlier than he otherwise would have done causing him to suffer a loss of income. Furthermore, Mr M was a partner with his wife in a fisheries business and prior to his hip operation, they had decided to covert the team rooms at their fishery into chalets for rental. As a result of his ongoing hip pain, Mr M had to delay the building works for a period of 6 months, causing a loss of potential rental income.

Mr M subsequently underwent a revision of his left total hip replacement in September 2016, for which he decided to pay privately and thereafter instructed Trethowans to pursue a compensation claim on his behalf.

Trethowans instructed an independent Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to provide a written opinion on the standard of care which Mr M had received. The medical expert agreed that Mr M had received negligent treatment and that if he had received the appropriate treatment during his original hip replacement surgery, he would have made a complete recovery within a few weeks of his operation. The expert advised that if Mr M had been treated correctly, he would not otherwise have needed the revision operation.

A formal Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant in October 2017 alleging negligence but the Letter of Response denied the claim, alleging instead that component malpositioning was a risk inherent in hip replacement surgery and that the size of the femoral stem inserted was appropriate. The Defendant alleged that the cause of Mr M’s ongoing hip pain was component loosening, an inherent risk of the surgery and not an undersized stem.

In view of the opposing views of the parties’ medical experts, Trethowans exchanged liability and causation reports with the Defendant’s solicitor, but this did not cause the Defendant to alter its position and therefore Trethowans issued Court proceedings in January 2019.

The Defendant filed a Defence to Mr M’s claim which repeated its previous arguments against his claim and the claim proceeded towards a final Court hearing.

However, despite its denial of liability throughout the lifetime of the claim and after a protracted period of negotiation, the Defendant agreed Mr M’s offer to accept the sum of £35,000 plus his reasonable legal costs and disbursements in full and final settlement of his claim. This settlement covered the cost of Mr M’s private revision operation as well as the loss of earnings he had suffered.

Mr M said “Throughout my Clinical Negligence case / claim, Trethowans and in particular Laura Rowe have been very professional and informative at all times. Over a long period, sound and encouraging advice was given in a pleasant manner. Many thanks.”