The Clyde & Co healthcare team have successfully defended a claim in the Oxford County Court arising from neurosurgery performed in December 2009
In short, it was alleged by the Claimant that a procedure to relieve compression on his spinal nerves was performed negligently. It was said that during the course of the procedure, the Defendant must have damaged the spinal nerves by slippage of a surgical instrument into the spinal canal causing compression. The Claimant has ongoing urinary and sexual dysfunction as a consequence of the nerve injuries.
The matter was robustly defended throughout, and proceeded to trial in April 2016. The Defendant argued that the proposed mechanism of injury alleged by the Claimant simply did not happen and that the injuries were the unavoidable consequence of the need to retract the spinal nerves in order to remove a disc which had impinged into the spinal canal.
Judgement was formally handed down on 15th July 2016. The Judge found entirely in favour of the Defendant. It was noted that the evidence provided by the Defendant and his expert neurosurgeon was credible, honest and provided a critical and careful analysis of the medical evidence before the Court.
By contrast, the Judge specifically found that the Claimant's expert, Mr Kirkpatrick, produced evidence in a way which undermined any confidence in the quality, reliability and impartiality of that evidence, such that it had to be treated with very great caution and was only of limited value and assistance.
We would echo the Judge's comments that the Court and all involved in this claim have great sympathy with the Claimant. He has suffered a very real and lasting injury as a result of surgery required to attempt to correct a significant spinal compression. As the Judge concluded, he was not wrong to have put his trust in the Defendant and he simply had the great misfortune to have suffered a rare but accepted complication of lumbar decompressive surgery.