Compensation after routine hernia operation causes infertility | Fieldfisher
Skip to main content
Case Study

Compensation after routine hernia operation causes infertility

Samantha Critchley recovered £140,000 in a surgical negligence claim for our client who was left infertile following a hernia operation in 1998.

Frank had an inguinal hernia operation in 1998 with no complications. In August 1998 he married and embarked on attempts to start a family. However, sperm tests revealed the absence of sperm in the seminal fluid.

The claimant saw a urologist who concluded, after investigation, that the loss of sperm was “consistent with obstruction at the level of the inguinal canal, suggesting that his inguinal hernia repair had disrupted his vas deferens”.

On Frank’s behalf, we alleged that this was caused by the negligence of the surgeon when he repaired the inguinal hernia.

The result of the negligence had been that Frank was rendered infertile and that this had caused a psychiatric injury.

Moreover, Frank and his wife had to undergo exhausting fertility procedures which further caused anxiety, distress and financial loss.

The defendant changed the nature of his Defence — on three occasions —arguing that damage resulted from a paediatric repair when Frank was aged 4, then that there was a congenital abnormality, and finally that there was a severe fibrotic reaction to the mesh inserted during the hernia repair.

On 24 April 2007 just before trial, a settlement meeting took place and the case was compromised in the sum of £140,000.

Samantha Critchley acted for Frank on a no win, no fee basis. She recovered all his damages and costs.

After the case, Frank said:

"Sam and Fieldfisher, could not have been more supportive, and always gave us a clear view of where we were in the long legal process.

"Sam was professional, yet became our friend, and I learnt a lot from watching the way she approached her work."

Contact us

For further information about surgery negligence claims and clinical negligence claims, please call Samantha Critchley on 03304606812 or email


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