In January 2003, Peter fell on his left, non-dominant arm. He attended the A&E Department of the hospital. A fracture of the left humerus was diagnosed. The arm was immobilised in a sling. Peter was discharged home for follow-up at the fracture clinic.
Later, he was advised to undergo surgery for intramedullary nailing of the fracture. Pre-operatively it was noted that his radial nerve was normal.
During the surgery the surgeon used too much force and inserted too big a nail which caused the fracture to extend. In addition, the radial nerve was cut.
But for the mistakes, Peter would have recovered within about twelve weeks. Instead, he had radial nerve palsy and required further surgery (which involved nerve and tendon transfers). In addition, his wrist was surgically fused and he remains in permanent pain in his left elbow with reduction of range and movement.
Samantha Critchley obtained medical evidence from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and a consultant psychiatrist. We argued that Peter had lost any chance of a return to work because of the negligence.
Proceedings were served in May 2006. The defence made some admissions of liability but argued that Peter was contributorily negligent.
The case was listed for trial in October 2007.
After negotiations, Samantha secured a settlement in Peter’s favour for £75,000. Peter received all his damages and the case was supported by legal aid.
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