Irwin Mitchell’s Medical Negligence team helped to secure a settlement for a man after his spinal surgery was performed incorrectly.
Our client underwent private spinal surgery in May 2009 because he was suffering from sciatica and a mild foot drop. However, the operating surgeon performed the procedure at the wrong level causing further pain for our client.
Following the surgery, our client developed a full foot drop, a permanent injury which will need various orthotics to assist with the problem. Furthermore, our client now has to take one day off from work each week due to his pain and suffering.
If the initial operation had been performed correctly, our client would have been able to work normally and take part in most activities without an orthotic device.
The surgeon admitted that he operated at the wrong level but argued that this would merely result in a month off work, additional suffering and the need for further surgery. However, our experts felt that the procedure caused the foot drop to become increasingly severe.
We had an expert surgeon look at our client’s injuries and he felt that the procedure fell below an acceptable standard. He said that operating at the wrong level was a clear breach of duty, particularly when the surgeon didn’t find the expected disc protrusion as he explored the area.
Working with our client, we managed to secure a settlement of £250,000 in March 2015, despite the disagreement on causation. This amount will fund past and future care costs, account for his pain and suffering and compensate for his loss of earnings.
Marcos Eleftheriou worked with the client and in relation to the case, he said: “The effect of operating at the wrong level of our client’s spine had catastrophic consequences by worsening the pre-existing problem and subjecting him to a life of mobility problems.
“Our client was a very active man prior to this negligent surgery and now has to accept that he will never regain the same level of activity.
“He also lost some earning capacity as a consequence of having to take time off from work each week to rest. This is likely to continue until retirement.
“The settlement secured will help compensate him for this loss as well as provide him with the financial means to utilise the best orthotics that are available to him on the market. It is hoped that this will go some way to making his life more manageable.”
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