£825,000 for below-knee amputee following failures by Royal Sussex County and Mill View hospitals | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

£825,000 for below-knee amputee following failures by Royal Sussex County and Mill View hospitals

Caron Heyes and Louise Astill secured the settlement for Joseph Hill who suffered a high-left transtibial amputation after combined failures by the Royal Sussex County Hospital and Mill View Hospital led to missed opportunities to recognise and treat critical ischaemia in his left lower leg. This resulted in Joseph having to undergo a high-left transtibial amputation.

The settlement was secured at a round table settlement meeting after both Trusts denied liability, forcing our client to commence court proceedings against them. 

Joseph had a long history of schizoaffective disorder and was known to have epileptic seizures. In June 2018, he suffered a seizure and was admitted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for treatment. Over several days, it became apparent that he was having a psychotic episode and would need to be transferred to Mill View Hospital for psychiatric support.  

On his last day at the Royal Sussex, Joseph complained of left leg pain and difficulty walking and he was transferred to Mill View hospital in a wheelchair. On arrival, although note was taken about his leg pain and need for a wheelchair,  no physical assessment was undertaken by doctors there and no physical assessment was carried out by a doctor until three days later.  

At that point he had a tense and swollen left calf. The doctor who examined him prescribed Tinzaparin, an anticoagulant to prevent blood clots,  because they thought he may have a DVT.  Nothing else was actively done and the pain became unbearable and an ambulance was called the next day. Joseph  was now found to have discoloured toes and no pedal pulses. 

Joseph was taken by ambulance back to the Royal Sussex and admitted as an emergency under the vascular surgeons. He was diagnosed with critical ischaemia of the left leg and underwent urgent vascular surgery with an embolectomy to the left iliac and femoral segments and left sided fasciotomies. Unfortunately, the surgery was too late to save his leg and four days later he underwent a below-knee amputation. 

Joseph's recovery was complicated by his pre-existing health conditions and he spent more than a year in rehabilitation. He tried prosthetics but could not adapt to using them and is now wheelchair dependent. He suffers with chronic phantom pains. He is no longer able to enjoy the pastimes he once did including tennis and dancing and help with everday life, such as cooking and cleaning. Crucially, he is wholly reliant on others to help him leave the house. 

Joseph instructed Caron Heyes and Louise Astill to investigate his claim. They obtained reports from orthopaedic, vascular and psychiatric experts to assess the treatment provided by the Royal Sussex and Mill View Hospital. 

The experts concluded that the treatment was negligent and that, but for the treatment provided, Joseph would have avoided amputation. They also obtained preliminary quantum views from experts in epilepsy, orthopaedics, care and occupational therapy, pain management and psychiatry to understand what Joseph will need going forward to help value his claim. 

Following settlement, Joseph  said: "Caron Heyes and her team were simply fantastic in dealing with my medical negligence claim. She listened to my thoughts about the situation and helped me obtain an excellent settlement."

Since Joseph is especially vulnerable, Caron and Louise have arranged additional support to help Joseph mange his financial affairs.

Contact us

For further information about amputee and limb loss claims or medical negligence claims please call Caron Heyes on 03304606743 or email caron.heyes@fieldfisher.com or please call Louise Astill on 03304606147 or email Louise.Astill@fieldfisher.com


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

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Medical Negligence Claims