Patient secures £70,000 compensation after claim that her wishes about treatment were ignored | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Patient secures £70,000 compensation after claim that her wishes about treatment were ignored

Fieldfisher Solicitors acted for SR in a claim for compensation against the private endocrine surgeon Mr Ojo who carried out a thyroidectomy procedure. This was a difficult case and one that had been rejected by other solicitors. Expert evidence obtained on behalf of SR identified that she should not have been advised to have the surgery in the first place.

Further SR suffered from a very disabling phobia where she could not tolerate the insertion of any foreign objects into her body. Her phobia had come to light during investigations carried out for a heart conditions many years previously and she had refused heart surgery because of the impact of the phobia.

SR's claim was that she had clearly stated her phobia to the surgeon prior to treatment but her wishes were ignored. After the treatment she initially had no knowledge that approximately 25 metal surgical clips had been inserted into her neck as they were not visible when you looked at her. However she felt symptoms in her neck which led to a scan about a year after the surgery. SR was suddenly told that she had 25 clips in her neck. From that moment it was for her like living permanently in a room full of large spiders would be for someone suffering from a phobia of spiders. She understood her response was not rational but she could not respond differently. She suffered significant anxiety and became clinically very depressed. She had to live with this all the time. She thought about taking her own life. She requested that the clips be removed but the surgeons were concerned about the risks. She underwent cognitive behavioural therapy which was unsuccessful and she was not able to tolerate continuing with the clips inside her. The surgeons eventually agreed to remove the clips and since the surgery SR has felt a significant relief of her symptoms. She is able to look forward to living her life.

The Defendant rejected the claim and court proceedings were taken. The Defendant did not accept that the surgery was unnecessary and should not have been advised at that stage. Further the Defendant appeared dismissive of the Claimant's phobia and did not accept the phobia had been conveyed to him in the way described by SR. Court proceedings continued and the case settled for £70,000 after witness statements of fact were served.

SR said of her solicitor

"She was so patient with me. I was in a dreadful state and she was very good at explaining things to me. I had never done anything like this before. She supported me through a difficult time.  She explored all the angles.  She knows her stuff and she can get you through it."