Augustus Cullen Law have recently concluded a High Court action arising out of a significant nerve injury suffered by a woman in the course of carpal tunnel release surgery.
The Plaintiff was admitted to a regional hospital for her carpal tunnel surgery in August 2011. In the period following her operation, she became concerned due to the significant and continuous level of pain she was suffering. She re-attended the hospital due to these concerns and was advised that her post-operative symptoms were normal. At a subsequent follow up attendance, the Plaintiff’s consultant became concerned regarding her ongoing symptoms and the Plaintiff was admitted to undergo further exploratory surgery. This surgery revealed that during her carpal tunnel release surgery, the surgeon had not in fact released the Plaintiff’s carpal ligament but had instead caused extensive damage to the branches of the median nerve to the thumb, index and middle fingers. As a result, the Plaintiff was transferred to St. James’ Hospital for reconstructive surgery using nerve grafting from nerves in her leg. Whilst the nerve grafting operation was carried out to a high level, unfortunately the Plaintiff was left with permanent damage and a significant loss of function in her hand due to the extent of the damage caused in her original operation.
Augustus Cullen Law carried out an investigation into the circumstances of the Plaintiff’s carpal tunnel surgery and obtained independent expert evidence which indicated that there was clear negligence in the manner in which this surgery was carried out. Proceedings were therefore issued in the High Court in December 2012. Significant work was carried out in formulating the Plaintiff’s claim for loss of earnings as she had been working on the family farm at the time of her injury. The injury was such that she was no longer capable of carrying out the day to day tasks which she had previously been able to perform on the farm. As a result of this, the Plaintiff’s husband was required to reduce, and ultimately cease, his off-farm employment in order to carry out the additional work now required on the farm in light of the Plaintiff’s injury. Expert reports were obtained from vocational, agricultural and actuarial experts in order to formulate and quantify this aspect of the Plaintiff’s case.
A Defence was delivered in this matter in October 2013 in which the Defendant denied that the Plaintiff’s injuries had been caused by the negligence stated by the Plaintiff. The Defence also pleaded that, if the Defendant was negligent, it was denied that this negligence caused the Plaintiff to suffer the losses being claimed. The matter was subsequently progressed and was listed for hearing by the High Court on 9th December 2014.
Shortly before the scheduled trial date the Defendant formally admitted full liability for the Plaintiff’s injuries and settlement negotiations subsequently took place. On foot of these talks the Plaintiff’s case was settled for the sum of €215,000 together with all of her legal costs incurred in bringing this case. This represented the full value of the Plaintiff’s claim.
22 December 2014