At the age of 16, Paul damaged his hip in a rock climbing accident. In January 1998, he met with a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who advised conservative treatment unless his condition deteriorated.
By 2001, Paul's condition was such that the surgeon recommended a relatively new form of hip surgery, known as a 'Birmingham Hip Resurfacing Operation'.
The surgery was performed on 13 July 2001 at the Epsom Hospital. The operation appeared to have been successful, although Paul did complain of numbness in his left foot.
Paul was assured that the feeling would return within the next two days. When it did not, a decision was taken to perform further surgery to explore and decompress the sciatic nerve, if need be.
Despite undergoing the surgery, Paul continued to experience shooting pains to the sciatic nerve. The new hip itself presented no problems.
The discomfort was such that it prevented Paul from returning to work for two months. Prior to the surgery, he had been told that he would be capable of working as a Managing Director soon after the surgery.
When Paul met with the consultant again, he admitted that the sciatic nerve had inadvertently been pulled during the surgery which had resulted in the foot drop. He offered his apologies.
Paul had significant disability, particularly in the first six months following the surgery. He incurred fees in connection with the provision of private physiotherapy, a static bicycle, special shoes and a chiropractor.
After a time, Paul made a reasonable recovery, but still retained some dysfunction in his left foot, which left him unable to play sport at his previous level.
In December 2003, Paul instructed Paul McNeil. Subsequently proceedings were issued against Epsom Hospital.
Despite the consultant’s “admission” in the form of an apology to Paul, the defendant solicitors investigated this matter in particular to ascertain whether the damage caused was legally negligent.
Eventually settlement negotiations took place and Paul recovered £25,000 plus costs. The claim was conducted on a no win, no fee basis.
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