£50,000 recovered for negligent total hip replacement

Our Client, a 68 year old man from Canterbury, Kent, underwent a right total hip replacement under the care of the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust on 28.07.11. Shortly after discharge, on 08.08.11, our client’s hip replacement dislocated whilst at home.

Having been taken back to hospital the same day, he underwent a manipulation under anaesthetic to re-site the prosthesis. He was then provided with a hip brace for short term use but, due to ongoing symptoms, he was required to wear this almost constantly.

Eventually, as a result of ongoing problems, he was referred for a second opinion. The second opinion was scathing in its assessment of the original surgery, identifying fundamental surgical errors which had caused the hip to dislocate.

Our Client underwent revision surgery on 26.03.13. Subsequently, he made a good recovery with only minor residual symptoms (most of which would have arisen in any event).

However, as a direct consequence of the dislocation, and therefore due to the negligence, our Client’s abductor muscle became detached resulting in some leg weakness which, as confirmed by our orthopaedic surgery expert, prevented him from returning to his employment as an HGV driver (although not having any practical impact on his other daily activities).

There was uncertainty as to whether (if the dislocation had not occurred) he would have worked to the age of 65, 68, or 70.

The Defendant failed to respond to our Letter of Claim, and despite various promises to respond, neither a formal response nor an offer was forthcoming.

Having issued Court proceedings, as a consequence of the Defendant’s failure to engage in the pre-action process, the case was settled at an early stage in the sum of £50,000.

Alex Tengroth, who had conduct of the claim, commented:

This was straightforward surgery that should not have given rise to any difficulties or complications. Instead my Client had to endure a prolonged period of pain and discomfort before the remedial surgery eventually took place. I am pleased that we were ultimately able to settle the proceedings at a satisfactory sum post issue and wish my Client all the very best for the future.