Damages for ENT negligence during simple procedure | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Damages for ENT negligence during simple procedure

Mark Bowman was instructed by Rose, with the benefit of legal expenses insurance, in connection with a claim for compensation arising out of surgery to her neck that took place in January 2007.

In July 2006, Rose noticed a small lump on the right side of her neck. Six months later, the lump still remained and Rose attended her GP who referred her to an ENT Surgeon.

Rose was examined by the ENT Surgeon who felt that the swelling was likely to be a lymph node, but requested an ultrasound scan so as to see whether it was a nodule in either the sub-mandibular or parotid gland.

Rose was referred to a radiologist, who performed an ultrasound scan on 04 January 2007. The radiologist reported that the scan revealed a lesion of 3cm diameter in the sub-mandibular gland. A biopsy was also performed which revealed a pleomorphic salivary adenoma.

Rose  was referred back to the ENT Surgeon, who, though the tumour was almost certainly benign, recommended an operation to remove the tumour.

Surgery was performed by the ENT Surgeon on 23 January 2007, during which he excised the right sub-mandibular gland. Rose returned to see the surgeon one week later, and he was alarmed to note that the initial lump still remained. 

The surgeon re-examined Rose and on palpating the lump felt that it was most likely to be within the parotid gland and not the sub-mandibular gland. He arranged for a repeat ultrasound scan which confirmed his suspicion.

As a result, Rose required a second operation on 06 March 2007 at which point the tumour was removed from her parotid gland.

As a result of the above, Rose required an extra surgical procedure, and was left with a much more prominent scar towards the front of her neck, as a result of the first procedure.

Expert opinion was sought from both a consultant ENT surgeon and a consultant radiologist, both of whom felt that the radiologist had been negligent in miss-reporting the initial ultrasound scan.

A Letter of Claim was therefore served on the radiologist, who however sought to blame the ENT Surgeon, alleging that he should have realised the lump was not in the sub-mandibular gland, and therefore not performed the first operation.

A Letter of Claim was served on the ENT Surgeon, who unsurprisingly sought to blame the radiologist for her error in reporting the ultrasound scan.

Following discussions with both Defendants, the radiologist's representatives made an offer to settle the claim in the sum of £5,000. Following discussions between the parties, and the instruction of a plastic surgeon, to provide an opinion as to whether Rose could undergo any form of corrective surgery to reduce her scarring, the claim settled in the sum of £13,209. Rose did not pay any legal fees and received this sum in full.

At the conclusion of her claim, Rose said 

"I wanted to thank you for your kindness and your patience. You treated me with a lot of respect and sensitivity and explained every step clearly and thoughtfully. In fact, I think, due to the way you handled my claim, the process I had dreaded was actually quite cathartic."

Contact us

For further information about surgery negligence claims and medical negligence claims, please call Mark Bowman on 03304606794 or email mark.bowman@fieldfisher.com.


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