Successful Mediation In Hip Replacement Surgery Performed Negligently
Posted in News on Thursday, April 1st, 2021
Karen Kearney, ably assisted by Tricia Sisk and April Wiseman, settled this High Court medical negligence case by means of remote Mediation on the 11th March 2021. It took two days of Mediation to settle. The case had been due to commence in the High Court in Dublin in November 2020 but, due to Level 5 restrictions, had to be adjourned to March 2021. Due to the continuing Level 5 restrictions, the case would have been adjourned to November or December 2021 for hearing if it had not settled at Mediation.
All parties to the Mediation, namely the Mediator, the lawyers for both sides, the Plaintiff herself, namely our client, participated remotely through a combination of telephone and video-conference platforms. In advance of the Mediation there had been an exchange of Mediation documentation between the parties to include the Mediation Agreement, the pleadings, the medical reports etc.
After two days of Mediation, our client’s case settled for a substantial six figure sum.
In summary, our client had undergone a right hip replacement in January 2014 performed by the Defendant. Immediately following the surgery, she felt that something was wrong and that her right leg felt like a “concrete block”. In accordance with the Defendant’s advice, she engaged in weekly physiotherapy, post the hip replacement surgery. Unfortunately, the concrete block sensation continued. She was in a huge amount of pain and needed two crutches to walk. At her six week check-up, the Defendant told her that she was very behind in her rehabilitation. She was devastated. He told her that she had developed a Trendelenburg gait, namely a painful and inefficient walk. He also told her that her abductor muscles were very weak. Our client thought that once she continued with the physiotherapy that the Trendelenburg gait would go away. Unfortunately it did not. She was unable to return to work.
Some six months post the hip replacement surgery, she was reviewed again by the Defendant who x-rayed her and told her that her greater trochanter appeared to have avulsed. The greater trochanter is located at the junction between the neck and the shaft of the femur bone. The Defendant told our client that “these things happen” and he suggested that the fracture could have been because she was doing physiotherapy. He carried out investigations and thereafter advised her that he would carry out revision surgery in the hope that this would improve the Trendelenburg gait.
Our client underwent further surgery on the 23rd June 2014. Unfortunately, despite this surgery, her Trendelenburg gait persisted and she was still, and continues to be, in a huge amount of pain. She endeavoured to return to work as a teacher but unfortunately, due to her injuries as a consequence of the Defendant’s negligence, was unable to do so and she was awarded Invalidity Pension in February 2016. Again, this was hugely devastating to her.
Our client could not understand what had gone wrong and she came to us at Cantillons to see if we could find out what happened and why it had happened. We commenced investigations, to include taking up copies of her medical records and commissioning reports from expert Orthopaedic Surgeons. Initially, the Orthopaedic expert view was that the hip replacement surgery had been performed appropriately and the fracture of the greater trochanter had occurred due to non-negligence but that there was a failure by the Defendant, in the revision surgery to identify the displaced fragment and re-attach it to the greater trochanter by a suitable wiring technique. However, when we commissioned an expert radiology report, the expert advised that the osteotomy cut in the first primary surgery, namely the hip replacement surgery, passed into the base of the greater trochanter, partially dividing it from the rest of the femur. The expert Orthopaedic Expert then confirmed that the first surgery, namely the hip replacement surgery, had been performed negligently in the manner in which the osteotomy had been carried out.
In addition to the physical injuries, our client also suffered severe psychological injuries.
Our client was hugely relieved that her case was settled by means of Mediation, on a private and confidential basis and without her having to attend trial in the High Court in Dublin. The money that she has received in compensation will ensure that she has the care and therapies that she needs for the future, thereby providing her with much needed, and long awaited, peace of mind.
Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 4275673 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.
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