Under most construction contracts, the contractor takes on the ground conditions risk. However, a recent case has demonstrated that the risk can fall on the employer.
The surgeon performed operations at both Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and Spire Hospital, including a number of ‘cleavage sparing’ mastectomies on women who thought they were undergoing a full mastectomy. This involves leaving some breast tissue, supposedly for cosmetic reasons or to aid reconstructive surgery.
His actions were queried by colleagues and Mr Paterson was ordered by the Trust to stop carrying out the operations in this manner in June 2007. A subsequent investigation demonstrated Mr Paterson had been acting outside national guidelines. He was referred to the GMC and has been suspended. He is expected to attend a “fitness to practice” hearing next year. The GMC have also referred the matter to the police and West Midlands Police have confirmed they are carrying out investigations.
Other types of surgery undertaken by him for breast cancer have also been found to be substandard and have led to claims for compensation being started and some already having resulted in awards of compensation for the physical and psychological trauma the patients have been put through.
Scores of women have now been recalled to see an alternative breast surgeon to review the procedure done by Mr Paterson. The Trust had hoped that this recall would be finished by March 2012. Money has already been set aside by the Trust to deal with claims for compensation made by injured patients.
Anthony Collins Solicitors have already been successful in obtaining compensation for some of these patients and are instructed in a number of other claims as well. Claims have been undertaken either with the benefit of legal aid or by way of conditional fee agreements (often called “no win no fee agreements”).
The firm's clinical negligence department is one of the largest in the Midlands and has a number of solicitors who are classified as elite lawyers nationwide in the area of clinical negligence litigation. The specialist solicitors are also noted for their sympathetic approach to their clients’ needs whilst also being prepared to fight hard to achieve the desired outcome.
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