Janet had a hip replacement operation on 21 September 2000. She developed an infection post operatively. Prior to the surgery she suffered from a heart condition.
She was prescribed gentamicin (a strong antibiotic) in an attempt to eradicate the infection. She also underwent surgery on two further occasions to “wash out” the infected hip. During her admission her gentamicin toxicity levels were not taken and her heart tablets were stopped.
In November, Janet was readmitted to hospital with acute renal failure secondary to gentamicin toxicity. She also had significant difficulties due to dizziness, hearing loss and loss of mobility.
This was compounded by congestive heart failure, which was because she was off her tablets. She required admission to hospital in February 2001 for cardiac problems.
We contended that the treatment received by Janet was negligent and in particular that she was given too much gentamicin which resulted in the renal failure, hearing loss and dizziness etc. Moreover these conditions meant that she was not able to take her heart tablets.
Following an internal investigation, the defendant admitted liability in respect of inadequate monitoring of the gentamicin level and accepted this had resulted in the renal failure.
The defendant, however, denied liability in relation to the heart failure, the residual dizziness, the loss of balance and hearing loss.
We obtained expert evidence which supported the allegations of negligence and causation of all Janet's problems and eventually liability was admitted.
The defendant contended that the majority of Janet's disability resulted to her underlying health condition rather than the negligence.
The matter was set down for trial fixed for 12 July 2005. After lengthy negotiations in the matter, Sam Critchley settled in the sum of £125,000 plus costs. The case was funded by Legal Aid.
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