In 1995 Agnes, a woman of Greek Cypriot origin who spoke little English, was diagnosed as suffering from a cataract affecting her right eye.
In January 1997, when she was aged 73, surgery was recommended. Agnes did not wish for the operation to be performed under local anaesthetic, and was referred to the Royal Free Hospital for the operation to be performed under a general anaesthetic.
In April 1997, Agnes was telephoned by a Greek speaking doctor from the Royal Free who said that due to a cancellation she could undergo the operation at short notice.
When she attended for the pre-operative assessment at the hospital, the Greek doctor persuaded her to undergo the operation under local anaesthetic ignoring her expressions of anxiety at this prospect.
Agnes was admitted for surgery on 15 April 1997. As soon as the drapes were put over her head and face, she expressed anxiety and as the operation proceeded, she became panic-stricken, sweating and shaking. The Greek doctor told her to keep still or she would be blinded.
In the event, the posterior capsule ruptured during lens implantation and she had to undergo laser surgery post operatively to remove a vitreous strand incarcerated in the surgical wound. She suffered a permanent loss of potential visual acuity in her right eye.
The Royal Free Hospital at an early stage indicated their desire to settle the claim without an admission of liability. The hospital’s expert’s report agreed that the capsule probably would not have ruptured if the operation had been performed under a general anaesthetic.
However, the hospital disputed the extent of visual acuity lost. The defendant argued, that nothing should be recovered for a percentage loss of potential acuity as damages are not recoverable for loss of a chance. In the event, the claim was settled for £10,000 without issue of proceedings.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Fieldfisher has successfully been recognised as an "Occupation and Asbestos Disease Specialists" Fieldfisher are now recognised as assessors
Charities we support
Sepsis deaths recorded in hospitals rose by more than a third in two years
In a heart-breaking reminder of the tragedy of sepsis, William Meade's mother Melissa commented in the press this month following a report that sepsis deaths have risen by more than a third in two years.
Caron Heyes reacts to worrying report of death of twins in hospitals
An extremely concerning report from the Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba), commissioned by the Department of Health, has revealed that key recommendations to ensure the safety of multiple births are not being followed by many hospitals.
Fieldfisher supports family of pregnant woman who died from sepsis at Basildon Hospital
Following the inquest into the death of Reeta Saidha from sepsis at Basildon Hospital in December 2017, Iona Meeres-Young will pursue a civil claim against the hospital trust on behalf of Mrs Saidha's husband, Bhooshan, and their two daughters.