Clinical Negligence

Claimant suffers nerve injury during shoulder surgery

Jenny Hawkes, specialist clinical negligence lawyer acting for the claimant, successfully obtained a settlement of £275,000 to compensate the claimant for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and the cost of future treatment.

The claimant fell and landed on her left shoulder.  She attended A&E and an x-ray revealed a spiral angulated fracture of the humerus (shoulder).  She was initially treated conservatively in a brace.  However, the fracture failed to heal and she underwent non-union fixation surgery at the Conquest Hospital, Hastings.

Immediately following the surgery, the claimant suffered numbness, difficulty with grip and wrist drop.  She was advised to use a wrist splint and was discharged for follow up in the fracture clinic.

Further follow up confirmed she had suffered a radial nerve palsy.

The claimant worked as a nurse and was unable to return to work.

She was referred for a specialist opinion at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH).  She underwent exploratory surgery and it was found that the nerve was lying within the fracture and underneath the plate and was damaged due to crushing.

The claimant’s employment as a nurse was terminated on the grounds of ill health.  Despite some improvement in her function, she was unable to return to work as a nurse but was able to find alternative employment.

A claim was brought against East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust for substandard surgery causing radial nerve injury.  The surgeon had failed to protect the nerve, leading to it being crushed by the plate.

The defendant admitted liability pre-action and wrote a letter of apology.

A settlement was achieved for damages to compensate the claimant for her pain and suffering, loss of earnings and pension and treatment costs in the sum of £275,000.

Jenny Hawkes specialises in surgical negligence cases.  If you would like to ask Jenny a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact Jenny at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701374 in confidence. We offer no win no fee agreements on the vast majority of our clinical negligence and personal injury cases.

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