Spinal Injury Resulting from Medical Negligence

We secured a £750,000 settlement for our client who developed suffered severe mobility problems, incontinence, sexual dysfunction and neuropathic pain due to negligent medical care.

The Case
After our 46 – year old client moved heavy boxes at work he began experiencing pain, weakness and strange sensations in his lower body, with the feeling that he needed to urinate without being able to do so.  He called NHS Direct who suspected a cauda equina injury (spinal nerve damage) and on admission to hospital he was seen by a junior doctor who pronounced his x-ray normal and advised that there was “no evidence of acute cord compression.”

Other than being told to return if his symptoms did not improve, our client was given no advice and discharged.  However, all of his symptoms persisted, with an increase in pain, weakness and loss of sensation in bowel and bladder function.  On re-admission to hospital by ambulance, an MRI scan was performed revealing a disc prolapse with severe compression of the cauda equina (the nerves at the base of the spinal cord.)  As the hospital was unable to operate on an emergency basis, our client was transferred to another hospital where disc decompression surgery was performed.

Our team brought an action against the doctor alleging that he was negligent in failing to suspect Cauda Equina Syndrome and in not carrying out the appropriate investigations to identify the large central disc prolapse in his spine.  Our client believed he developed Cauda Equina Syndrome as a result of this mistake.

Liability was admitted and the NHS hospital acknowledged that, had our client undergone surgical decompression of his cauda equina following his first admission to hospital, he would have been left with no neurological dysfunction and would have had normal bladder, bowel and sexual function.

Our client’s injuries affect his daily living and have had a significant impact on his psychological well-being.  He is able to walk around his home only by holding on to furniture for support and is reliant on walking sticks when out of the house, though moves slowly and with pain. Due to the extent of his injuries, our client cannot carry out day to day tasks such as driving, socialising, general household tasks, nor is he able to return to full time employment.

His neurosurgical expert is of the opinion that in later life he will require assistance in terms of home support and mobility aids including a wheelchair, though his life expectancy is not impacted.

The outcome
Led by Richard Lodge, our team agreed an out of court settlement with the hospital of £750,000. While in no way compensating for what he has lost, this significant amount will help him to live the best possible life in future.

 

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Client Case Studies

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