Claim settled for negligently caused below knee amputation

Mary Maddocks recently obtained compensation for a 69 year old client who underwent a below-knee amputation of her right leg in 2011 as a result of hospital and GP negligence.

In February 2011 our client developed severe pain in her right leg which continued intermittently over the following couple of months. She began to notice that her right leg seemed cooler than her left. She attended her GP and was referred to hospital, by which point her leg was cold to the touch, blue in colour and intensely painful. She was transferred to a specialist vascular unit where severe ischaemia of the lower leg was diagnosed.

A decision was made to manage the Claimant’s condition conservatively; she was prescribed heparin to self-administer and discharged from hospital. Unfortunately, however, the unit put no plan in place to monitor her condition to ensure that her leg did not deteriorate.

Our client’s leg continued to get worse despite the heparin. She raised concerns on several occasions with her GP but was told to return home. Eventually the Claimant’s condition became so grave that she returned to hospital where she was advised that she would have to undergo a below knee amputation.

Our client’s life was dramatically altered as a result of her injury. She had difficulty mobilising and required a prosthesis and wheelchair, as well as assistance with many household tasks. Her ability to work and carry out many activities was also affected.

Following an admission of liability by the NHS Trust involved in our client’s care early on in proceedings, the parties underwent settlement negotiations, resulting in an award of compensation of £715,000 for our client. This sum included an award for our client’s pain and suffering and past and ongoing losses including care, therapy, the cost of purchasing aids and equipment, loss of earnings, loss of pension, household expenditure and medical treatment.

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