Sciatic nerve damage

Mrs M’s appointed Davies and Partners to handle her case, after her previous solicitors advised that her claim had no prospects of succeeding.

Mrs M had a past history of congenital hip dislocation. In September 2011 she was advised that a two-stage revision of her right total hip replacement would be required. Mrs M underwent first stage revision in October 2011 and made an uneventful recovery.
In December 2011, Mrs M underwent second stage revision during which both components of her sciatic nerve were damaged. As a result, she suffered numbness and weakness of the right leg with right foot drop.

The Defendant admitted that the surgical care in the second stage revision surgery fell below the expected standard and that this caused sciatic palsy from which she had not recovered.

Due to her injuries Mrs M had great difficulty walking, developed chronic pain in her foot and calf, suffered psychological problems, needed single storey housing and had substantial care needs. To properly quantify the claim, we obtained evidence from a Hip Consultant, a foot and ankle consultant, a pain consultant, a Psychiatrist, a care expert, an Occupational Therapist and an accommodation expert.

During negotiations to settle the claim the Defendant raised an argument that, as Mrs M, who was aged 60, had been diagnosed with Emphysema and COPD and was a smoker, this would reduce her life expectancy significantly and she would require a high level of care in any event.

We instructed a Consultant respiratory physician to establish the impact of Mrs M’s underlying conditions on her life expectancy and quality of life. The expert reported that Mrs M’s life expectancy would be reduced from 88 years to 76 years of age and that for the last 10 years of her life she would be significantly disabled and unable to undertake any domestic tasks other than self-care which limited her claim for future care to age 66. As such the value of the claim was recalculated to reflect the reduced life expectancy and significantly reduced care claim. We successfully negotiated a settlement in the sum of £810,000.00 plus payment of legal costs and disbursements.

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