Archive for October 2011

Compensation for Operation on Wrong Side of Heart

A man, who was woken during surgery to tell him that his heart operation had gone wrong, has received a six-figure sum in compensation after making a medical negligence claim.

Steve Edwards (51) from Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, was having a minor heart procedure at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in 2008 when the error occurred. During the surgery, an item of equipment slipped, causing a radio pulse to be applied to the wrong side of his heart.

The error meant that Mr Edwards would require a pacemaker to be fitted, and the heavily anaesthetised was brought around to advise him of the treatment he required. Mr Edwards claimed in his action against the Bristol Royal Infirmary that he did not appreciate the severity of the issue at the time, and it was only in an outpatient´s appointment ten weeks later that the full extent of the error became known.

Despite three subsequent attempts at corrective surgery, Mr Edwards will now have to wear the pacemaker for the rest of his life – meaning that he will have to undergo surgery once every seven years to replace the battery. The Bristol Royal Infirmary admitted negligence and agreed a six-figure sum in compensation with Mr Edwards´ legal representatives in an out-of-court settlement.

In a statement, the Bristol Royal Infirmary stated “Technical errors during Mr Edwards’ cardiac ablation procedure resulted in the catheter moving and radio frequency energy being delivered to the wrong side of his heart. Further checks have been introduced to ensure that the catheter is perfectly placed before radio frequency energy is delivered.”

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Faulty Hip System DePuy “Poster Girl” Take Medical Negligence Compensation Case

A former gymnast, who promoted the DePuy ASR Hip Replacement System before to the product´s worldwide recall last year, is making a medical negligence compensation claim against the product´s manufacturers Johnson & Johnson following difficulties with her own DePuy hip replacement system.

Penny Brown (51) had hip replacement surgery in 2004 to relieve her from the constant pain of osteoarthritis. At the time of the surgery, the DePuy ASR hip replacement system changed her everyday life to such a degree that she agreed to become the “face” of DePuy and promote their hip replacement systems throughout the UK.

Between 2004 and 2008, Penny was DePuy’s “patient brand” and her image was used all around the globe. Penny also gave interviews about the benefits of the DePuy ASR hip replacement device and counselled patients about to have implant surgery. However, in 2009, Penny began to develop a groin pain which was diagnosed as being caused by the hip replacement system and, as the wear and tear grew, felt a clunking sensation whenever she walked anywhere.

In May 2011, Penny was informed that she would need revision surgery which would mean the removal of the DePuy ASR hip replacement device and a replacement system installed.  She had her operation and has been bed-bound and not able to work ever since.

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Negligence Compensation Approved for Disabled Teenager

A teenage girl, who was left paralysed by a spinal surgeon´s negligence, has had a multi-million pounds doctor injury compensation settlement approved by the High Court in London.

Laura May (17) of Chorley, Lancashire, was admitted to the Royal Preston Hospital in March 2005 for an operation to correct a curvature of her spine. However, her orthopaedic surgeon – Dr Roger Battersby Smith – failed to use an imaging technique before operating, and negligently misplaced a screw during the operation.

As a result of Dr Smith´s negligence, Laura lost the use of her limbs and is paralysed from the chest down.

After seeking legal advice, Laura´s parents – Bill and Christine May – sued Dr Smith and the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for doctor injury compensation and, in 2009, the Royal Court of Justice ruled in favour of Laura and her family.

The High Court in London has now approved a negotiated settlement which will comprise of a lump sum payment now and periodic payments throughout Laura´s life. The total compensation package – which is believed to be around 3 million pounds – will provide medical care, specialised accommodation and equipment for Laura, as well as compensating her for future loss of earnings.

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Mesothelioma Compensation Award of 258,520 Pounds for Widow

The widow of a man who suffered from mesothelioma cancer after exposure to asbestos in his workplace has been awarded 258,520 in industrial injury compensation against her husband´s former employers.

William Wolff died from mesothelioma cancer in March 2007 aged 66 – just eighteen months after retiring from Weir Construction Ltd. During his employment at the construction company and previously at John Moulds (Kilmarnock) Limited, it was claimed by his widow – Elizabeth Wolff – that he had been exposed to asbestos fibres which were responsible for the injury.

Both Weir Construction Ltd and John Moulds Limited accepted that the condition was caused by negligent exposure to asbestos while William was alive, and the case was before Judge Lord Doherty at the Court of Session in Edinburgh for the assessment of damages.

Judge Lord Doherty heard that William’s death was particularly painful for him, and that Elizabeth had given up her job as a social worker in order to provide full-time care for her terminally ill husband.

Once he heard expert medical evidence that William would have been expected to live on the balance of all probability for a further 17 years had he not contracted mesothelioma cancer, the judge granted Elizabeth a total award of 258,520 pounds, and in additional made further awards totalling 52,317 pounds to William´s three daughters and one of 7,084 pounds to his granddaughter.

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