Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team in Cambridge has reached a settlement for a client who has been left with life-changing injuries following a delay in diagnosis and treatment of Cauda Equina Syndrome. The team took this case over from a law firm which did not specialise in clinical negligence two months before limitation expired.
The client attended hospital in August 2011 after suffering excruciating back pain and losing feeling in the lower part of his body. He informed the medical team in the A&E department that he was suffering with severe back pain, was having difficulty urinating and had collapsed. Despite asking for an MRI scan, he was sent home and told that he would need to visit his GP.
The following day, the client was still suffering from the same symptoms and contacted his GP. The GP immediately arranged for an ambulance to take him to hospital where he was given a full neurological examination. He was sent for an MRI scan where the diagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome was made and then taken to surgery.
It was alleged that the defendant trust caused a delay in diagnosis and surgery of over 24 hours leaving the client with numbness, problems with mobility, and difficulties with his bowel and bladder function. He is no longer able to work and will require professional care in the future to assist him with his disabilities. He also requires single story accommodation.
The defendant trust admitted that further information should have been elicited from Penningtons Manches’ client in A&E regarding his urinary symptoms. Causation was denied in full. At a joint settlement meeting, the defendant agreed to damages of £656,582.80 in full and final settlement of his claim.
Emily Palmer, an associate in Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team, who represented the claimant, said: “I am delighted for our client that we have reached a settlement and very much hope this will assist him to move forward with his life.”