Claimant aged 45 attended Defendant hospital to undergo myringoplasty to close perforated left eardrum and a cortical mastoidectomy to clear out infected mucus. She had previously been advised about associated risks including bleeding, infection, scarring and facial weakness.

The treating consultant was unavailable and the locum consultant who carried out the operation drilled into her facial nerve and attempted to remedy by grafting the segment with nerve from surrounding tissue.

Claimant suffered from total left sided paralysis, deafness and dizziness. She alleged Defendant had been negligent in failing to properly obtain her consent or provide a consultant with the requisite skill. Further, the locum had failed to refer her to an appropriate specialist for repair of her facial nerve. Liability admitted for locum not adopting the correct approach and entering the ear too low, injuring the facial nerve causing palsy and dizziness. All other allegations denied.

Upon inspection of the nerve graft it was decided that due to extensive scar tissue no improvement could be made. She had a further operation to partially close her left eye; subsequently she was unable to blink and the eye felt dry. She suffered from impaired balance, reduced hearing in left ear, depression and panic attacks.

Out of court settlement: £50,000 (General Damages £41,500).