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Clara’s story: £200,000 damages obtained for wrist injury (nerve damage)

Our client, Clara, received £200,000 damages, in an out of court settlement relating to a nerve injury to her wrist caused by substandard surgery.

Clara contacted Longden Walker and Renney because she was concerned about treatment that she had received at Chase Farm Hospital.

She explained that, in the previous year she had slipped in a puddle, fallen over and hurt her wrist.  After seeking medical help, she had been told that she needed to undergo a tendon transfer operation.  Unfortunately, since undergoing surgery, she had developed numbness, pain and disability in the wrist of her dominant hand.  Her symptoms have affected her day-to-day life and caused her to feel depressed.  

We obtained and carefully reviewed copies of her medical records and prepared a detailed witness statement for both Clara and her daughter.

Based on the evidence identified in the medical notes and records, we prepared a Letter of Claim alleging that the defendant’s doctor had, in error, caused Clara to suffer a nerve injury. It transpired that during the surgery on Clara’s wrist, the doctor had sewn the part of the radial nerve into the EPL muscle.

After considering the allegations, the Defendant Trust formally admitted that it had provided substandard treatment that had caused Clara to suffer avoidable injury, loss and damage.

Once the Trust admissions had made such admissions, we took steps to obtain input from independent medical experts so that we could advise Clara further. We obtained evidence on the extent of the harm caused, the likely prognosis and whether there was any support that could be provided to Clara to help her deal with the consequences of her injury.

We arranged for Clara to meet with:

An independent Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon; and

An independent specialist nurse – who visited her at home and prepared a report on Clara’s need for care and assistance and identified devices that could help Clara cope with the effects of her injury.

We also sought advice, on Clara’s behalf, from an independent Consultant Psychiatrist a Consultant Plastic Surgeon. We asked the Psychiatrist how Clara could be helped to cope with the psychological impact of her disability. We asked the Consultant Plastic Surgeon about treatment options available for the scarring that had been caused by surgical attempts to treat the nerve injury.

Once we had obtained independent medical evidence, Clara asked us to enter into settlement negotiations. She wanted to try to settle the Claim as soon as possible, without her having to go to court.

Whilst negations were ongoing, to help Clara, we contacted the Defendant Trust and arranged for her to receive an interim payment of £20,000 damages.

Initially, the Defendant Trust offered £135,000 in full and final settlement of the claim. Through negotiation, we managed to persuade the Defendant Trust to increase its settlement offer to £200,000 damages.

The Defendant Trust agreed to pay Clara’s reasonable legal fees and expenses.

Clara accepted the Defendant’s offer and reiterated that she was glad to have settled her claim without her having to go to court.

Clara then arranged for Janine Kennedy of our Private Client Department to set up a Personal Injury Trust fund on her behalf.

If, like Clara, you have suffered an injury due to a surgical error, it is important that you obtain expert legal advice as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact John Lowther by email at jlowther@longdens.co.uk or call us on 0191 5666 500. Alternatively, fill in our short enquiry form and one of our specialist solicitors will be in touch.

*NB. Clara is an pseudonym used to protect the identify of our Client

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