7-figure settlement for Paralympic athlete following delayed diagnosis of compartment syndrome | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

7-figure settlement for Paralympic athlete following delayed diagnosis of compartment syndrome

Arti Shah successfully settled a multi-million pound below knee amputation case for a world class athlete who will now compete at the 2024 Paris Paralympics.

Dave* suffered an injury to his left knee during a rugby match, resulting in a fracture to the tibia and fibia, with vascular compromise. He was airlifted to Coventry University Hospital for surgery. Post operatively, Dave experienced intense pain overnight with an increasing reduced foot sensation. On review, he was determined to have severe neurovascular compromise, requiring urgent fasciotomies. Surgery took place the following day, but not until some 5-6 hours after acute compartment syndrome was first raised.

Post-surgery, Dave was admitted to ICU, and subsequently underwent several debridement procedures, before being discharged home a month later with an external fixator, which was removed several weeks later. Dave was left with a left foot that was without function and was fixed in an equinus position. 

Several months later, Dave elected to undergo a below knee amputation. 

The amputation severely impacted his quality of life. Prior to his injuries, he played rugby, ran half marathons and competed in triathlons. Post amputation, he has suffered from intermittent phantom pain, low mood and anxiety and is dependent on prostheses, which limits his mobility.  He required care and assistance with daily life, and will require assistance in the future. It is testament to Dave's tenacity and resolve that he has returned to sporting activities and is selected to train for the 2024 Paralympics.

Arti served a Letter of Claim early in the case. A Letter of Response was received, admitting that:

  • There had been a failure to perform emergency revascularisation during the initial surgery;
  • Revascularisation would have been performed within 6 hours and would have avoided necrosis of the lower leg muscles and the need for fasciotomies;
  • The additional delay in performing revascularisation resulted in extensive necrosis of the muscles of the anterior, lateral and superficial posterior compartments resulting in excision of a large amount of muscle incompatible with limb salvage; and 
  • On the balance of probabilities, Dave would have avoided below knee amputation of his left leg. 

A Letter of Apology was also issued acknowledging that the care provided fell below the standard expected. 

Arti obtained seven expert reports to deal with quantum, and served these on the Defendant with a schedule of loss, to attempt to reach early settlement in light of the admissions. She also obtained a six- figure interim payment to assist with property adaptations and prosthetic input. 

The Defendant took over 18 months to serve their counter evidence, and Arti issued protective proceedings in the meantime. Following a Round Table Meeting (RTM), a seven figure settlement was reached between the parties. 

At the end of the case, Dave said: “Throughout my case, I have come to know that fighting a case well and staunch support of her clients are two of Arti's trademark qualities. 

Arti is professional, compassionate, and cooperative. Throughout the process, Arti’s support has been consistent, positive, and often direct.  Arti is not the sort of person to let something slide, and leaves no stone unturned in her resolute defence of her clients and their interests.  

Having had no experience of the field, it was always reassuring to have Arti explain clearly and concisely each step in the process and I am exceptionally grateful for the fantastic result that she has won on my behalf.” 

* name changed 

Arti has developed a sub-specialty in cases involving athletes, and currently represents several clients who compete in the Olympics/Paralympics. 

Contact us

For further information about delayed diagnosis claims and medical negligence compensation claims, please call Arti Shah on 03304606739 or email arti.shah@fieldfisher.com.

All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee. Find out more about no win, no fee claims.