Settled at the Door of the Court, Again

Published: 13th October 2016

At aged 58, a Wakefield woman was referred by her GP to hospital because of arthritis in her knees.

She managed to get by until 2009 when she had a knee replacement operation.  Though even after her operation her knee any better. As she started to move around again, and started to put weight on it, it actually got worse than before the operation.

She was offered a revision operation in January 2011, but after the failure of the first one she was reluctant to have another operation.  In the meantime, at home, she had to rely upon family and friends to get by.

She approached Liddys Solicitors in 2013. We obtained all of her medical records and x-rays and sent them to an independent orthopaedic surgeon. He advised that knee replacement operations are generally routine and should not go wrong, but in this particular case the surgeon had angled the cuts of the tibia and fibula wrongly so that the knee replacement did not sit properly. He had then wrongly loosened the ligaments which support the knee joint. Our expert’s advice was that these were mistakes which should not have been made, and the surgeon was negligent in the way he had done the operation.

Fortunately, she was able to be referred to another knee specialist on the NHS who re-operated and fixed her knee.

She sought damages for four years of extreme discomfort. The hospital denied liability and Court proceedings were issued in July 2013.  The defendants said that although the operation was not ideal, the cuts were within a reasonable margin of error and further it was difficult to tell now the actual angle of the cuts because the x-rays were not of good quality.

The defendants eventually agreed to pay the claimant £35,000 damages, just over a month before trial.

There can never be any guarantees with surgery, but just like a builder or a taxi driver, a surgeon has a duty to use reasonable skill and care when doing his job.  Most of the time they do an excellent job, but when they don’t it is right that damages are payable to compensate for things like loss of earnings, pain and suffering, the cost of assistance in the house and private medical treatment in order to try to get better.

Liddys have a department specialising in clinical negligence work.  At Liddys you are guaranteed to be dealing with a solicitor who has had between eight years and twenty years experience of litigation. If you feel that you or a relative have suffered from clinical negligence, give us a call on 01924 780 753 to see if we can help.