Clinical Negligence

Compensation for bile duct injury during gallbladder surgery

Jenny Waight, specialist clinical negligence lawyer acting for the claimant successfully obtained an out of court settlement of £138,000 to compensate the claimant for their pain and suffering, recover of loss of earnings and to pay for future treatment on a private basis.

The claimant underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal surgery) at Nuffield Haywards Heath.  The surgery was funded by the NHS under the “choose and book” scheme.  No problems were reported during the surgery and she was discharged from the hospital the next day.  However, she was admitted to Royal Surrey County Hospital, Brighton with severe abdominal pain 3 days later and diagnosed with having suffered a bile duct injury.  She had to undergo further surgery and was admitted to HDU with type 1 respiratory failure.  Thereafter she was transferred to Guildford Hospital and underwent hepaticojejunostomy.  Again she required ITU care before being discharged after a further 15 days.

The claimant instructed Jenny Waight at Thomson Snell & Passmore who obtained expert evidence from a consultant hepatobiliary surgeon who advised that the surgeon had clearly not understood the anatomy resulting in bile duct injury which he did not recognise during the surgery.  As a result, the claimant suffered a major bile duct injury and now has risk of long term complications including risk of recurrent sepsis, strictures of the anastomosis, secondary biliary sclerosis and liver abscesses.  Further she developed an incisional hernia as a result of the requirement for surgery.

The claimant also suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of her time in ICU causing flashbacks, low mood and significant health anxiety.

The defendant admitted breach of duty and causation and provided a letter of apology to the claimant.

Settlement was achieved in the sum of £138,000 to include general damages for pain and suffering, past and future losses for care and loss of earnings as well as treatment costs for potential future surgeries and psychiatric treatment.

Jenny Waight specialises in surgical negligence cases.  If you would like to ask Jenny a question or if you have a general query about any clinical negligence, contact Jenny Waight at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701374 in confidence.

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