ACL secure €175,000 damages on behalf of a woman who suffered left sided foot drop following spinal surgery at a Dublin Clinic
MB v IS
The Plaintiff had been complaining of lower back pain for a period of 12 months which had been increasing in severity. An MRI scan was performed which demonstrated a very large central and left sided disc protrusion with compression of the left S1 nerve roots. The Plaintiff had undergone surgery some 4 years earlier for a similar complaint. It was decided that she was a candidate for micro-neurosurgical discectomy which was performed by the Defendant Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon on the 27th May 2008 at a Dublin Clinic. During the course of the surgery a large disc was removed but the nerve appeared to have been overstressed. Post operatively the Plaintiff complained of a loss of sensation and power in her left leg and a further MRI scan was ordered following which she was transferred to Beaumont Hospital for care by the neurosurgery team there. The MRI scan identified a residual disc and left L5 nerve root damage. The Plaintiff underwent further surgery to remove the residual disc fragments and it was noted that the nerve root fibres had been damaged during the original procedure. The Plaintiff underwent intensive physiotherapy following the second operation but unfortunately was the sensory loss in her left leg did not improve and is permanent.
The Plaintiff contacted our office and a report from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon with a special interest in complex spinal surgery instructed to prepare a report on liability. It was his considered view that the Defendant had been negligent in causing the damage to the nerve root fibres during the course of the surgery and that he did not possess sufficient expertise to carry out such complex spinal surgery which led to the injury. Proceedings were issued on behalf of the Plaintiff and settlement negotiations took place before a Defence was delivered on behalf of the Defendant at an early stage in the proceedings. A settlement was reached of a payment of €175,000 and legal costs to the Plaintiff without admission of liability. The settlement took into account the fact that such an injury could have been considered a recognised complication of competently performed surgery, an issue which the Defendant would have undoubtedly raised had the matter proceeded to trial.
ACL secure €177,000 damages on behalf of the family of a child who died at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda
AG, DG &CG v HSE
The first named Plaintiff was a young first time mother who was pregnant with twins and attended the Defendant’s hospital for her ante-natal care. In July 2009 she was admitted to the labour ward at 35 weeks gestation and went into pre-term labour. During the course of her labour the staff used CTG monitoring to record both twins’ heart rates in accordance with standard approved practice in monitoring twin labours. There were difficulties throughout the course of the labour in identifying both heart rates and it was clear that at times the monitor was in fact only picking up one of the twin’s heart rate despite the partogram indicating that both heart rates were being recorded. As a result of this failure in CTG monitoring the staff were incapable of identifying any signs of foetal distress which would have been identified had proper monitoring taken place. Accordingly they were unprepared when the first twin was born in a flat condition and required extensive resuscitation. The second twin was born in a good condition. Tragically the injuries suffered by the first twin were such that she passed away at 4 hours of age.
The Plaintiffs contacted our office as an Inquest had been ordered into the death of the little girl and an internal HSE Inquiry had prepared a report identifying failings on the part of the staff who managed the first Plaintiff’s labour. An admission of liability was received the day before the Inquest was due to commence and a verdict of death by medical misadventure was recorded by the Coroner. Proceedings were issued claiming damages for the wrongful death of the baby and also claiming damages for nervous shock on behalf of each of the Plaintiff who were the parents and grandmother of the deceased. Liability was not in issue and settlement negotiations took place in advance of a Defence being delivered and a settlement totalling €177,000 and costs was agreed with an admission of liability. The settlement represented the full value of the claims. Macrolane has since been withdrawn from promotion for breast enhancement by its manufacturer Q-Med until a consensus amongst radiologists has been on the best practice of breast radiology examination following Macrolane treatment.
ACL secure €70,000 damages on behalf of a woman who underwent Macrolane injections at a Dublin Cosmetic Clinic
BM v PT & AC
The Plaintiff underwent Macrolane injections in 2009 to both her breasts under the care of the first named Defendant, a Cosmetic Doctor at the second named Defendant cosmetic clinic. Macrolane is cosmetic filler comprised of hyaluronic acid which can be injected into the body under local anaesthetic but will gradually dissolve over the course of approximately 12-18 months and was a popular non-invasive method of breast enhancement. Following these injections the Plaintiff noticed that her breasts were extremely painful, a number of hard lumps had formed within them and they were asymmetrical. The Plaintiff sought a second opinion at the Beacon Hospital where an ultrasound was performed which demonstrated that the Macrolane had been injected into the pectoralis major muscle rather than in the space that lies between the breasts tissue and the muscle itself. The Plaintiff was given a course of hyaluronase, an enzyme to try and speed up the process of dissipating the Macrolane but her pain persisted as did the hard lumps.
Reports were commissioned from two leading Cosmetic Surgeons who were critical of the placement of the Macrolane injections within the pectoralis major muscles which there believed was evidence of substandard technique and was also not in accordance with the manufacturer of Macrolane’s own recommendations. Proceedings were issued against the Defendants and settlement negotiations were arranged in advance of the Defendants having to deliver a Defence. The Plaintiff’s condition had improved significantly at this stage and only a small pocket of Macrolane could still be seen on MRI scanning. A settlement of €70,000 and costs was reached without admission of liability which represented the full value of the claim.
If you have any further queries, please contact any of the following from our medical negligence group:
- Jamie Hart, Associate Solicitor
06 July 2012