Case Studies

Settlement following delay in operating on fractured cheek bone


We have recently settled a claim against Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust after our client suffered a fractured cheek bone and, due to an administrative error, failed to undergo an emergency CT scan and subsequent surgery to fix the fracture.

Our client arrived at the A&E department at Basildon University Hospital and underwent an X-ray which was difficult to interpret because of the recent nature of the injury. He was advised that he would need to return to the maxillofacial clinic, which he did three days later. After being assessed, he was advised that he would need to undergo an urgent CT scan to assess the nature of the fractured cheek bone given that the X-ray taken a few days previously was inadequate for diagnostic use.

Unfortunately, by the time our client’s follow up appointment at the maxillofacial clinic came around, the urgent CT scan had still not been carried out. Over two weeks later, our client’s father had to chase the hospital several times about the scan. It soon became apparent that it had never been organised.

Eventually, an emergency CT scan was carried out just under three weeks after our client first presented at the A&E department.

Following the CT scan, it was clear that our client required surgery. During the procedure, it was found that the fracture lines had started to heal due to the delay and, if the surgeons were to continue with the operation, they would run the risk of shattering our client’s cheek bone. It was therefore agreed that the bone would have to be left in the way that it had already healed.

After carrying out a full investigation and putting forward the allegations of negligence to the defendant trust, liability was admitted and the trust acknowledged that, had surgery been undertaken sooner and been successful, it is likely that our client would have had less of a cosmetic deficit with his face than he has now. The defendant agreed to accept our client’s offer to settle the claim and we are pleased that we have been able to achieve a good result for him.


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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