Mark Bowman was approached by Mr Evans to represent him in a case against well known orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Y for surgery negligence. Mr Evans was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both hips in September 2006. In April 2007 he was referred by his GP to see Mr Y. A number of consultations took place following which Mr Evans was advised to undergo a right hip resurfacing operation, scheduled for 14 January 2008.
It was alleged by Mr Evans, a well researched financial journalist, that at no point did Mr Y warn him of the fact that the operation might alter his leg length and that Mr Y has informed him that he had used the specific device he intended to implant (an ESKA prosthesis) on between 150-200 occasions when in fact this was not the case. In addition it was alleged Mr Y had failed to perform or record any sufficient clinical examination of Mr Evans' hips.
Had Mr Evans been correctly treated and informed he claimed he would not have undergone surgery on 14 January 2008 but considered his options. It was admitted by Mr Y that at no point did he record details of any physical examination or the possibility of a leg length discrepancy, but it was denied that Mr Evans was not verbally warned of such a risk or that he would not have undergone surgery on 14 January 2008.
Following surgery Mr Evans was left with a 3-4mm leg length inequality. He continued to see Mr Y who, in view of the inequality and increasing pain in the left hip, recommended Mr Evans undergo surgery to his left hip. The recommended surgery was a hip replacement not a hip resurfacing i.e. a different procedure to that which was performed on the right hip.
Surgery was performed on 28 September 2009. The consent form recorded a risk of "leg length inequality" but Mr Evans alleged he was never warned of a risk of increased leg length inequality, just that it was not possible to guarantee no leg length inequality after the second operation. He alleged that he made it absolutely clear to Mr Y that reducing his leg length inequality was his primary concern.
Following surgery Mr Evans was left with a leg length difference requiring him to wear an altered left shoe 2.2 cm higher than the right. It was alleged that the second operation was performed negligently in that not only has Mr Evans leg length inequality not been reduced but it had in fact been increased. It was denied this represented negligent treatment, it being argued the inequality was within reasonable limits.
Mr Evans was not only left with a significant leg length inequality but significant pain in his hips and lower back, requiring regular denervations. His ability to work as a self employed journalist was affected.
Expert evidence was obtained on behalf of Mr Evans and his case was due to be heard in the High Court in June 2013. Following a settlement meeting in May 2013, Mr Evans was offered £110,000 in settlement of his claim, which was accepted, without an admission of liability. This figure accounted for Mr Evans' pain, suffering and his lost earnings.
At the end of his claim Mr Evans commented:
"I chose Mark and Fieldfisher after speaking with two other solicitors at two other firms, neither of whom struck me as being assertive or energetic enough to represent me. Right from the start Mark believed in my case and he relentlessly pushed ahead. The case turned into a long, tough slog with constant delays created by the defendants, but Mark and Marise were always diligent in moving ahead as quickly as they could and responding to my concerns and questions. Mark also secured the services of a brilliant barrister to round out the team and that turned out to make a huge difference. I owe both of these guys very sincere thanks and they have been responsible not only for a materially important settlement that lifts many worries from my shoulders but also a very real sense of justice at last being delivered."
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