Claimant, aged 39 years, attended Defendant hospital for review of injuries sustained in a road traffic accident four months earlier. MRI scan taken by Defendant, revealed large herniated disc at L5 compressing L5 nerve root. Nineteen months later, he underwent surgery to remove disc. Surgeon operated at L3/L4 but was unable to locate bulging disc and caused a dural tear during surgery. The following day, Claimant complained of loss of sensation in lower limbs and inability to pass urine and six days later a decision was made to carry out revision surgery and remove bulging disc at L4/5.
Claimant brought an action alleging negligence in performing surgery at two levels and failing to remove the bulging disc which was obviously displayed in the MRI scan and failing to recognise signs and take immediate action after first operation. Liability admitted. Claimant developed cauda equina syndrome and due to decreased lower limb motor function was only able to walk short distances with crutches indoors, but had to use a wheelchair outside. He suffered loss of sensation in his bottom, genitals and legs, permanent injury to bladder, bowels and sexual function and constant neuropathic pain in both feet and legs. Following rehabilitation Claimant was better able to manage his bladder and bowels. However there was no prospect of further improvement and his disability would be permanent.
Out of court settlement: £1,600,000 (General Damages £130,000).