Substantial settlement award achieved for delayed diagnosis of hip fracture


We have achieved a settlement award for our client, who was left disabled and in severe pain for 13 months as a result of the defendant’s failure to diagnose a fracture in his left hip.

Our client suffered a fall at home. After attending his GP and numerous A&E departments, he was told he was simply suffering musculoskeletal pain and was advised to mobilise and take analgesia. At no point was he referred for an x-ray of his hip.

He visited several hospitals after the fall and was seen by numerous GPs, consultants and physiotherapists, who incorrectly diagnosed his leg pain and swelling as a blot clot, and then subsequently lymphedema and cellulitis. Our client finally underwent an x-ray of his hip more than a year after his initial injury, which identified a poorly healed fracture where the bone had fused together. It was found that the fracture had been present for approximately 13 months. One of our client’s legs was also found to be one and a half inches longer than the other, due to muscle wastage and overcompensation from the pain of walking with the undiagnosed hip fracture.

He was advised that he needed a total hip replacement if he were to have any hope of walking normally again. Following hip replacement surgery, our client, at 54 years old, was told that due to not moving correctly for such an extended period, and because of the breaks in his hip, he now had brittle bones. As a result, the surgeon had been forced to implant a wire into the surrounding bone to hold the new hip in place.

Because of his injuries, our client was unable to return to his previous employment.

Court proceedings were issued and served on the defendant. The defendant initially denied breach of duty, arguing that our client’s presenting symptoms were not suggestive of a hip fracture. However, following negotiations we were able to secure a good settlement to compensate our client for the extended period of pain and suffering he endured as a consequence of the failure to diagnose the hip fracture and for his resultant lack of mobility.


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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