Grace was referred to the defendant, an orthopaedic surgeon, as she had been experiencing pain in her left foot for three months.
Grace had a significant history of injury and surgery to her left foot and the defendant advised surgery including a heel shift with an exploration of her tibialis posterior tendon and repair of the same.
Grace agreed to undergo the surgery, which was carried out on 16 December 1997. The defendant damaged her sural nerve during the surgery. This manifested itself in severe symptoms with very intense burning pain exacerbated by interfering with many daily activities including sleeping.
The sural nerve damage was eventually repaired by Mr Rolf Birch of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and many but not all of the symptoms remitted.
Acting under a Conditional Fee Agreement the head of our Medical Negligence department, Paul McNeil, initiated proceedings against Mr Cooke. We alleged that he was negligent in failing to locate and protect the sural nerve during the surgery.
In addition, he should have recognised that the sural nerve had been severed following the surgery and referred the Grace to a peripheral nerve specialist.
The action was fixed for trial for 11 December 2002 and settled the day before the trial with the defendant accepting our Part 36 Offer of £15,000.
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