Take a moment to listen to Tirina’s story as a result of medical negligence in diagnosis and treatment of Cauda Equina syndrome
Lady receives over £1million in compensation following negligent treatment after her hip surgery
Ms S has recovered compensation following a procedure to resurface her hip in 2009, which resulted in an infection that severely damaged her leg and hip, leaving her unable to walk or work and requiring extensive care on a daily basis.
Cerebral Palsy resulting from birth injury
The circumstances in which Miss A came to sustain her brain damage are as follows. Her mother, was admitted to Hospital with spontaneous rupture of membranes in labour, this being her first pregnancy, at the age of 18. At around 03:45, a fetal bradycardia developed and Miss A was born in poor condition at 04:08. She was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit where she developed seizures and neonatal encephalopathy. She has since gone on to develop cerebral palsy.
Quite apart from there being a very strong case that, with adequate care in response to the bradycardia, Miss A should have been born intact, there were also allegations that earlier fetal blood samples would have led to earlier delivery, and that the bradycardia was precipitated by the use of Syntocinon to induce labour and augment uterine contractions in circumstances where it should not have been administered.
To ensure that Miss A’s needs were properly identified and met and the claim settled at an appropriate level to meet her needs, we sought further expert advice to help assess those needs from a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist, Care and Occupational Therapist, Accommodation expert, Assisted technology, and Educational Psychologist.
The claim was finally settled on the basis of a seven figure lump sum payment and annual periodical payments, to continue until end of life, increasing with age.
The total value of the settlement represented an overall settlement equivalent to a lump sum of nearly eight million pounds.
Maya Sushila had conduct of Miss A’s case and was assisted by other members of the Clinical Negligence team. Maya is a solicitor based in our Southampton office and in relation to the case she said: “this case was an extremely complex case with a refusal on the part of the Defendant Trust to accept that the delay in delivery and negligence had resulted in an adverse outcome. It was only after the experts on both sides had met and produced a joint statement analysing the evidence and their respective positions that The Defendant Trust agreed at a “round table” meeting to a settlement. The settlement achieved, was a great result and inevitably means that Miss A’s future is now secure and she is guaranteed all necessary care and support for the duration of her life.”
Take a moment to hear from John Clark, one of our clients who suffered from Cauda Equina. In this video, John explains how he has been affected by the condition, his desire to seek answers as to why it had happened and the role that Moore Blatch played to help John with his rehabilitation and to secure compensation.
Cauda Equina claims
Cauda Equina is a life-changing condition whereby the nerves at the bottom of the spine get compressed, which if left undiagnosed is a medical emergency. Maya Sushila, partner at Moore Blatch explains in more detail.
Compensation recovered following deficiencies in care resulting in cauda equina syndrome
Mr JC recovered compensation following deficiencies in the care he received resulting in the development of cauda equina syndrome leaving him with serious physical consequences and an inability to continue working.
Mr JC had a long history of episodic back pain over many years but this started to deteriorate towards the end of 2013. On 1 December 2013 he underwent an MRI scan which showed a significant worsening of the prolapse of the L4/L5 disc since a previous scan undertaken in February 2013. That scan was not reviewed by the pain management consultant requesting it until 17 December and neither was the consultant alerted by the radiologist before that.
Mr JC was then told by the pain management consultant that an immediate referral would be made to an orthopaedic consultant. By 28 December 2013, Mr JC was in such pain that an ambulance was called and he was taken to the nearest Accident & Emergency Department. Following further deterioration, he was transferred to Hospital where he underwent spinal decompression surgery on 30 December 2013.
Mr JC alleged that the Trust failed to alert the requesting doctor urgently of the result of the MRI scan on 1 December 2013 which showed that there was a large disc protrusion causing compression of the cauda equina nerve roots. Once this was communicated to the requesting clinician on the evening of 17 December, there was a further failure in communicating the seriousness of the situation to Mr JC. A referral was to be made to the orthopaedic consultant on a planned care basis as opposed to urgent treatment. This was a failure but there was a further systems error that resulted in the failure to send the referral.
The defendant admitted in June 2016 that there was an unacceptable delay in reporting the MRI scan of 1 December 2013 and a failure to make a referral to the orthopaedic team. It was also accepted that the claimant, “but for” the failures, would have undergone decompression surgery before he developed complete cauda equina syndrome and would, therefore, have had a better outcome in terms of bladder, bowel and sexual function.
Following the admission, the focus was then on quantifying the claim, and following negotiations, the case settled before we issued proceedings for several hundred thousand pounds.
Moore Blatch Clinical Negligence Solicitor, Maya Sushila, who handled the case, said “this was an interesting case as initially it was anticipated allegations would relate to the treatment at the end of December 2013 as opposed to earlier on in the treatment timeline. An early admission on breach of duty and causation led to a much swifter resolution of the case as efforts were then focused on quantifying the claim. Despite Mr JC’s considerable efforts to return to work as a mortgage advisor he was unable to sustain the level of the job that he had been previously been able to and had to stop working. Achieving this settlement has meant that Mr JC can draw a line under the stressful legal process with the confidence that he has some financial recompense behind him to provide stability for him and his family.”.
Mr JC said “I am writing to say thank you for all that you have done for me over the last three years or so. It seems difficult to put into words exactly how I feel, but I think it’s fair to say you have been so much more than just my solicitor. Your expertise in clinical negligence has been truly outstanding and your professionalism absolutely first class. However, equally importantly you have been a confidante and a friend, consistently giving advice, support and belief all the way through what has been a difficult journey. Now that journey is coming to an end I am so grateful for the skilfully negotiated settlement you have secured. Of course I would swap any settlement for my health back, but that can’t happen. Knowing that my financial future is secure and knowing that I can support my family and move on with my life means everything to me. Without you that would not have happened. Speaking to you was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”