13 December 2022

Client wins £450,000 settlement after permanent tracheostomy

A woman whose gynaecology procedure ended with her having a tracheostomy due to neck injuries has won a medical negligence case with the support of our firm.

The case, which was settled in October 2022, was unusual as the defendant argued that it was a case of contributory negligence, where the claimant themselves was partially responsible.

A case of contributory negligence

The defence claimed that our client “deliberately withheld” key medical information which would have resulted in the procedure being carried out under regional anaesthetic, instead of general.

In response, it was argued that if the anaesthetic assessment had been completed properly, the aggravation to a previous neck injury, which led to the permanent tracheostomy, wouldn’t have happened.

In addition, even after it was decided to proceed with general anaesthetic, the anaesthetic management was negligent in itself, which is what caused the damage.

Eventually, the defence admitted to negligence and agreed to settle for £450,000.

A settlement to repair the damage

The settlement amount is enough to cover the claimant seeing a medical specialist, approved by experts on both sides, who may be able to perform a specialised procedure to remove the tracheostomy. The compensation also covers their psychological treatment.

In medical negligence cases, it is important to help clients receive the money they need to repair any damage caused and get their life back on track after an act of negligence where possible.

Once the defendant had agreed that negligence had occurred, both sides then worked together to ensure a suitable settlement was reached.

Due to the damage that had been done in this case, our evidence suggested that the only way our client would be able to come off the tracheostomy would be to see a specialist in London. There would be no guarantee that a procedure would be successful, but our client was willing to accept the amount to cover this potential treatment.

“Get their life back on track”

Jonathan Baker from Wilkin Chapman said:

“I was pleased to succeed in this case for our client and secure the money to get her life back on track.

“It is very unusual for contributory negligence to be raised in a medical negligence case, and it made this a complicated case with lots of back and forth between both sides.

“Part of the conversation centred around identifying a medical expert to perform the procedure to remove the tracheostomy.

“In medical negligence cases, we would always prefer to reach a settlement that helps to reverse the impact of the negligence, rather than throw money at them, as that is much more beneficial for the claimant both physically and psychologically.

“We always aim to secure settlements that allow claimants to continue their lives as closely as possible to how they were before the negligence took place.”

Find out more about how we can help you with your medical negligence claim or contact Jonathan Baker for a no obligation discussion.

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