A 68 year old female Claimant underwent hip replacement at Defendant Trust’s hospital. Four months later she experienced pain in her hip and was referred back for x-rays and was advised that pain was due to fluid build up before being sent home.

Claimant continued to experience pain over the next few months and was subsequently unable to weight bear and five months later was readmitted to hospital. Scan revealed MRSA. She informed staff of weakness in her arm. After a week she lost all sensation in arms and legs and was transferred to ICU. MRI revealed spinal abscess causing cord compression.

Claimant underwent operation to reduce pressure on spine but nonetheless was rendered tetraplegic and incontinent. During aftercare she developed gangrene in her left foot due to pressure sore. She required 24 hour care.

Claimant alleged negligence in failing to diagnose epidural collection earlier and carry out operation to reduce pressure sooner. Liability disputed. Delay in surgery of two days admitted however Defendant contended that Claimant would have suffered a severe cord deficit in any event.

Out of court settlement: £900,000 lump sum and periodical payments of £176,000 pa (estimated General Damages: £170,000).

Simon Taylor QC and William Latimer-Sayer instructed by Irwin Mitchell LLP for the Claimant. Philip Havers QC instructed by Capsticks Solicitors LLP for the Defendant.