£345,000 in provisional damages for negligently performed knee replacement

Today, at a Round Table Meeting in London, we have settled a substantial orthopaedic case on a provisional basis.

Our client, a 64 year old lady from Herne Bay, underwent a left total knee replacement, at a private hospital in Canterbury, in January 2006.

The operation was negligently performed and required revision surgery some 2 weeks after the initial procedure.

Unfortunately, during the revision surgery, the knee became infected.

Our client has had ongoing problems with pain and instability ever since, notwithstanding a further revision procedure.

Ultimately she had to retire early, needs care input at times during the day and also needs to use a wheel chair and other equipment.

Proceedings were issued and Judgement entered last year.

The case was set to be tried, over four days, at Canterbury County Court in November, in relation to the basis and amount of damages.

After a full day’s intense negotiations in London today, however, a settlement was reached on terms whereby our client is to receive £345,000 by way of provisional damages.

Specifically she will receive this sum on the assumption that her leg will remain as it is without further complications.

If there are further complications, and, specifically, should she require an above knee amputation (which the experts agree there is a 10-15% chance of) then she will be able to return to Court for further compensation at any time during her lifetime.

Nick Fairweather, who had conduct of the matter, commented:-

“This procedure should have relieved my client of pain and instability in the knee and provided her with a more active lifestyle as she moved towards retirement.

 Instead, the operation was botched and she has been left with a significant disability which impacts on her day to day living and quality of life notwithstanding all the stoic efforts that she makes.

 As in all cases, no amount of money is any substitute for injuries to one’s health.

 I am pleased, however, that this significant sum will make life easier in the future.

 I am also pleased that we have held out for provisional damages (which were typically and unrealistically contested by the Defendants until today).  Without provisional damages we would have risked leaving our client under compensated if the worst were to happen in the future.  This was a classic case where provisional damages were always appropriate”.