Case Studies: Healthcare

Patient Recovers £500K due to Wrist Fracture and Treatment

Patrick Mullarkey of O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors acted on behalf of a Client who recovered £500,000 plus full costs as a consequence of a wrist injury sustained in February 2017.

The Client initially fell whilst on a night out and sustained a broken left wrist.  She attended a local Accident & Emergency Department, where her wrist was attended to and she was ultimately referred for treatment in the Fracture Department.  Unfortunately for the Plaintiff, whilst it was recognised that she had fractured her wrist, the seriousness of the injury was not appreciated by the personnel attending to her.  The position of the fracture deteriorated, mandating operative intervention.  By the time the deterioration in the wrist was noted, the opportunity to undertake a primary repair had been lost.  In the circumstances the Plaintiff underwent a secondary repair some months later.  Unfortunately, due to the delay in the performance of appropriate surgery, the outcome of the surgery was less than would have been expected had appropriate care been provided at the outset.  In other words, the Plaintiff had a poor outcome in respect of her fracture because of a delay in providing appropriate care.

The Plaintiff was unable to return to her original occupation due to her injury.  She has been obliged to undertake retraining and hopes to begin a career in another field of practice.  It is anticipated that she will return to full employment in the course of the next few years.  In addition to the loss of earnings sustained by reason of the injury, the Plaintiff has ongoing care and therapy needs.  These needs were addressed, in the settlement achieved, by payment of damages for the ongoing care requirement and the need for further therapies, including physiotherapy and occupational therapy.  Additionally equipment necessary to ensure that the effect of the Plaintiff’s injury is mitigated on a day to day basis, will also be procured.

Proceedings in this matter were issued in October 2018 and the case was concluded, by way of negotiated settlement, on the second day of the Court listing in February 2021. The Bar owner agreed to contribute to the settlement without admission of liability. The Trust, responsible for the impugned medical care, admitted fault in the substandard treatment.

The Plaintiff comments “…the settlement exceeded all expectations.  Patrick Mullarkey covered our case in a highly professional and a diligent manner.  I was overjoyed at the final outcome.”

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