Our client underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (the removal of her gallbladder) as she was suffering from pain due to gallstones. The operation was performed negligently and her bile duct was severed during surgery.
The bile duct injury was only identified when our client subsequently developed a high temperature and experienced symptoms including vomiting, a swollen stomach and jaundice. She was re-admitted to hospital and underwent emergency surgery to repair her bile duct. Her recovery from this second operation was very difficult, and as a result, she required time off work and was unable to care for her elderly mother.
The clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches Cooper was instructed. We obtained a report from a consultant hepato-biliary surgeon who specialises in surgery to the liver and biliary system, including the bile ducts and gallbladder. He confirmed that there had been a number of failings, including the negligent clipping of our client’s bile duct. He informed us that her ongoing abdominal pain was due to abdominal adhesions caused by the negligent surgery and that she was now at an increased risk of developing biliary cirrhosis - a condition caused by defects of the bile ducts. The surgeon also stated that our client would require lifelong surveillance in the form of blood liver function tests.
We sent the defendant trust a letter of claim setting out our allegations of negligence. Whilst a formal letter of response was not provided and no admissions were made, settlement was agreed in the sum of £55,000.