Mrs C was admitted for a routine right sided knee replacement operation on Friday 19 October 2012. Prior to surgery no vascular assessment was carried out. During the course of the operation there was a breach of the femoral cortex resulting in impingement of the femoral artery and blockage of the popliteal artery. After surgery Mrs C complained that she was in a huge amount of pain and that her foot felt cold and was tingling. Immediately following surgery there was no palpable pulse below the knee, something which went unrecognised, and which should have immediately alerted staff of the need to re-investigate. Despite Mrs C continuing to be in increasing amounts of pain over the period 19 to 23 October 2012 and her foot becoming increasingly numb, she was not seen by a Consultant at all over the weekend of 20-21 October 2012 and in fact no decisive action was taken until 23 October 2012 by which time the only option was to amputate Mrs C's right leg above the knee.
Expert advice was obtained from an orthopaedic and vascular surgeon and it became clear that with appropriate pre and post-operative monitoring, the circulatory insufficiency should have been identified and Mrs C's leg would have been saved. Proceedings were served on Whipps Cross Hospital and liability was promptly admitted in June 2013. Interim payments were immediately obtained so that Mrs C could benefit from a case manager and the best possible private treatment and rehabilitation. In addition, given Mrs C's injuries, she required alternative accommodation where she could sleep downstairs and benefit from a wet room which would allow her to wash and shower safely. Temporary rental accommodation was therefore sourced for Mrs C and her family.
Mrs C had initially been due to undergo a left sided knee replacement shortly after her right sided knee replacement, however given the catastrophic outcome of the first procedure she was understandably reluctant to undergo further surgery, especially on the NHS. It was not until December 2014 that Mrs C felt confident enough to undergo such surgery, and this was arranged for her at a private hospital where she felt reassured she would receive the best possible care. Thankfully, the surgery went well. Following her recovery and once we were able to better judge her future prognosis, steps were then taken to fully quantify Mrs C's claim.
Experts in the fields of orthopaedic surgery, psychiatry, accommodation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, prosthetics, rehabilitation and care were all instructed and produced reports. It was clear that, in particular, Mrs C would benefit from a state-of-the-art Genium prosthesis, that she would require care for the rest of her life and that she would always need to live in specially adapted accommodation, which she would purchase following the conclusion of the claim.
The trial in Mrs C's case was due to take place from 08 December 2015 in the High Court. In October 2015 we held a settlement meeting with the legal team for Whipps Cross Hospital. We were unable to reach an agreement. Following the meeting further offers were made on behalf of both sides and the case finally settled for a lump sum of £1,000,000 with additional index linked payments of £42,255 to be made each year for so long as Mrs C lives, to enable her to be able to afford the care that she will continue to require. The capitalised value of the claim is over £2,000,000.
At the end of the case Mrs C's solicitor, Mark Bowman commented:
"No amount of money will ever compensate Mrs C for what she has had to go through over the past three years and what she will have to live with for the rest of her life. I however hope that the compensation awarded, together with the unrivalled care and support that her family provide on top of that which she will now be able to employ, will at least provide her with comfort and reduce the burden on her at a time when she should be enjoying her later years."
At the end of the case, Mrs C's son commented:
"Mark Bowman is right in stating that no amount of money will EVER compensate our mother for what she has undergone, however we are grateful and thankful that our mother is still with us and her strength and determination continues to be an inspirational each and every day. During our initial search for a solicitor's firm, Mark Bowman stood out from the crowd. First and foremost Mark is a truly warm and wonderful human being and he treated us exactly as we should have been treated, with genuine compassion. Secondly, and very simply, we connected with Mark in an instant – we had considered at least 6 or 7 firms prior to meeting Mark and knew immediately that he was the one for us."
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