Our client brought a compensation claim against a hospital trust, following clinical negligence arising from tonsillectomy (throat) and adenoidectomy (nasal) surgery when he was a minor. During the procedure he suffered a “diathermy burn”, which resulted in scarring to the back of his throat and the roof of his mouth. This caused permanent and significant injuries, including hearing loss, speech and language difficulties, and nasal obstruction. 

We were instructed, as his clinical negligence solicitors, to bring a compensation claim against the hospital trust that carried out the surgery and consult medical experts. The case was complicated because our client was a minor and medical experts, who were appointed to the case, advised that we should wait for him to go through puberty before any final decision could be reached. This was because after puberty his bones and muscles in the maxillo-facial region would have matured to show the extent of the permanent damage, making his condition and prognosis clearer.

Our client’s injuries were significant and complex. Primary liability was finally admitted by the hospital trust after it had been denied for a lengthy period of time. However, the exact nature of the injury and the level of damage attributable to the clinical negligence remained firmly in dispute. 

Matters were complicated further because the client’s medical expert indicated that, in the event of a serious deterioration in the client’s hearing loss, the type of surgery required was extremely specialist and would involve a pioneering technique, established only in the USA or Japan. Our clinical negligence solicitors, therefore, had to carefully decide how best to proceed in order to ensure that there was a proper assessment of the claim’s value and future provisional damages. This was particularly difficult because our client was still a minor; this meant that we had to predict possible health issues that could arise in his lifetime. We approached medical experts in Japan and the USA to obtain details of the potential surgeries our client could require in the future, as well as the private costs involved.

Because of the speculative nature of these surgeries, we were faced with having to argue the likelihood that these may be required in the future, against the trust’s arguments that they wouldn’t. We built a strong case, which resulted in the hospital trust compromising, and agreeing to an out-of-court settlement to the sum of £185,000.

For further information

To find out more about how we can provide support with general surgery negligence please contact us or take a look at the general surgery claims part of our website.

Rankeshwar Batta was so thorough, hardworking and caring. He has been with us since [the client] was very young, and always made him feel part of the case despite his young age.