3rd July 2019 – Our client Mrs S from East Kent was under the care of Mr James Ritchie (Consultant Orthopedic surgeon). She decided to have a right total ankle replacement in 2012 because her right ankle was significantly symptomatic and it was interfering with her day to day life.
The operation took place on 7th September 2012 and was paid for with private medical insurance.
Mrs S did not recover in accordance with expectations and a major problem was peripheral nerve injury.
On 29 th November 2013 she underwent surgical exploration at the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital and it was discovered that scar tissue had encased the nerve.
Moreover, the flexor hallucis longus could not be traced and repaired.
Mrs S continued to suffer symptoms and underwent further procedures including an ankle fusion at the end of August 2016.
When Mrs S came to see us part of her grievance was that Mr Ritchie refused to accept that he had made a mistake and this delay caused further damage. We instructed appropriate medical experts in several disciplines in order to prepare the case. A detailed Letter of Claim was drafted and sent to Mr Ritchie’s insurers who denied surgical negligence.
This denial set in train a number of events including the issue of Court proceedings, getting updating medical reports and further quantum investigations.
At the end of 2017 the Defendant sensibly changed their stance and advised that they wished to settle the case in full once they had completed their own investigations.
As we moved towards Trial in October 2019, the Defendant agreed to a settlement meeting in December 2018. Unfortunately negotiations were fruitless at this stage but eventually the Defendant offered a suitable sum of £750,000 and this offer was accepted.
Steve Evans, the Solicitor with conduct of this matter throughout commented:
“This was always a good claim. In terms of the work undertaken, the two key events were the failure of the Defendant to admit Breach of Duty at an early stage and the failed settlement meeting in December 2018. Both of these events substantially delayed settlement unnecessarily.
Mrs S has always remained positive about the problems that in the end forced her into early retirement and to rely on others to get by day to day. This substantial damages settlement will help her to maintain her independence and I wish her all the best for the future”.