The Plaintiff in this matter, a mother who at the time of the procedure was in her thirties, was noted to have degenerative disc disease and disc protrusion causing compression and she underwent anterior cervical compression and fusion surgery on the 20th January, 2014. Subsequent to the surgery, the Plaintiff awoke to find that she was unable to move her lower limbs and was noted to be tetraplegic.
The Plaintiff was advised that a technical complication had occurred during the surgery, causing compression and injury to her spinal cord. The Plaintiff suffered significant injuries and despite engaging heavily in rehabilitation programmes, the motor function did not return to her lower limbs. She is wheelchair-dependent and requires assistance in respect of daily living including care, occupational therapy, equipment, aids and appliances, physiotherapy, counselling and adapted accommodation, as a result of her injuries.
Expert reports dealing with the issue of liability were prepared by a Consultant Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgeon and a Consultant Neurosurgeon. It was the Plaintiff’s case that during the course of the surgery the surgeon was negligent in placing the interbody cage in the incorrect position causing compression and injury to the spinal cord. Liability was denied by the Defendant disputing that the interbody cage had been inserted correctly but had migrated while inside the spinal canal to cause the compression.
Further reports were obtained from a variety of experts in areas covering: nursing care, occupational therapy, rehabilitation medicine, assistive technology, neuro-physiotherapy, neuropsychology, psychiatry, urology and architecture, to assess and quantify the Plaintiff’s future requirements.
Proceedings were issued in July 2015 and the case was later fixed for trial. Shortly prior to the trial date the case was resolved at mediation for the sum of €7million plus costs.
If you have any further queries, please contact:
Mary Ní Ghuairim, Associate Solicitor, Medical Negligence Group
29 April 2019