Case studies

Out-of-court settlement for client who lost thumb tip due to delay in treatment


We recently secured £10,000 in an out-of-court settlement for a client who suffered a delay in surgical treatment to remove a blackthorn from his hand which resulted in the amputation of the tip of his thumb.

The client had been gardening when he accidently caught his left thumb on a blackthorn. He subsequently attended a walk-in clinic where attempts to remove the thorn were unsuccessful and he was supplied with cream to act as an agent to remove the thorn slowly.

Six days passed and the injury had not improved. He therefore visited the Accident & Emergency Department of the Sandwell General Hospital. On his attendance he was examined by a nurse who believed the thorn should be surgically removed. However, when the nurse consulted a doctor he disagreed, believing the current treatment was adequate, and the client was sent home simply with pain relief medication.

The following day the client’s wound had substantially deteriorated, with both the thumb and his left hand swollen and red. Accordingly, he went to the Russell Hall Hospital to seek medical advice and treatment. Here the thumb was x-rayed which revealed that more than one thorn was present in the thumb. The client was immediately referred to the Selly Oak Hospital.

Three days later he had an operation to remove three blackthorns from his thumb as well as dead and infected tissue. An additional operation was performed another three days later where the tip of his thumb was amputated. Consequently, he was left with a deformed thumb, loss of sensation and hypersensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. The client also had difficulty performing mundane tasks such as picking up change and doing up buttons on clothing.

We investigated a claim against Sandwell General Hospital which accepted liability and our client was awarded with compensation.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP