Penningtons Solicitors LLP has agreed a settlement for a claim made against Torbay Hospital for its failure to correctly diagnose the severity of a knee injury incurred on an Italian ski holiday by a man from Devon.
The man immediately saw a local doctor who told him that he had almost certainly damaged his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He was advised to allow ten days for the knee to settle before having an MRI scan to assess the extent of the damage.
After he returned to the UK, he was referred to the consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Torbay Hospital. He explained what had happened and the Italian doctor’s advice but was advised that ‘this is not the way things are done in the UK’ and was instead referred for physiotherapy.
After four months of physiotherapy, he was still in pain and the superintendent physiotherapist eventually agreed an MRI scan which clearly showed a tear to the ACL with some lateral prolapse and a tear to his radial meniscus.
He was told he needed an arthroscopy to remove some of the torn tissue and an ACL reconstruction. The hospital would not carry out both procedures at the same time so he agreed to have the arthroscopy first. He then saw another orthopaedic surgeon whom he again questioned about ACL reconstruction but whose explanation dissuaded him from having the surgery.
When the risks and benefits of ACL were properly explained by the expert Penningtons’ clinical negligence team had instructed to advise on the legal claim, the man promptly made arrangements to have the ACL surgery which took place earlier this year. His evidence is that this surgery was finally undertaken three years later than should have been the case.
Penningtons brought a claim against Torbay Hospital on the patient’s behalf for failing to properly assess the nature of his injury, failure to act upon his lack of progress, and a delay in him receiving the surgery that he needed. The hospital initially disputed the claim in its entirety but, after the issue of court proceedings, a settlement was agreed.