Medico Legal Clinical Negligence – Case Study

26 Jun 2018

What are the unique skills that a medico legal expert witness can bring to a clinical negligence case to achieve a fair outcome?

The far-reaching consequences of clinical negligence 

The case:  

Anne suffered with chronic musculoskeletal pain, urological and bowel issues following a simple appendectomy. Her pain exhausted and isolated her, leading to problems with her family, social life and work.

Background:  

Anne was a dedicated art teacher with a young family and full social life. She attended A&E at her local hospital but delayed diagnosis and treatment led to her contracting an infection and other complications resulted in part of her colon being removed. Whilst in hospital, she contracted pneumonia and a further infection resulting in a lengthy hospital stay and extensive treatment as an out-patient.

The expert diagnosis:  

Our expert was able to diagnose fibromyalgia (a chronic condition of widespread pain and profound fatigue), advise on suitable treatment options and costs and provide a robust prognosis including the impact her condition was having on all aspects of her life.

Our expert was able to show that, on the balance of probabilities, had Anne undergone an appendectomy soon after she attended hospital in pain, she would not have suffered the complications she did and would have made a full recovery.

The outcome:   

Our expert was able to discuss the prognosis and likely outcome that could be expected. He was able to clearly explain the impact the condition was having on her life in the immediate and longer term, resulting in a substantial settlement to be agreed between parties. More importantly, multi-modal treatment and support was put in place for Anne to help improve her quality of life.

Consequences can be far-reaching in clinical negligence cases. Instructing the right expert with the right skills and experience ensures a fair outcome is reached whether they are acting for the claimant or defendant.