Case Studies: Healthcare

Substandard Care of Fractured Elbow – £40,000 Damages

O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors recently obtained a settlement of £40,000.00 on behalf of our client who suffered significant injuries due to the negligent management of her fractured elbow between 2017 and 2018. Claire Hunt dealt with the matter.

Our client sustained injuries to her right arm during a fall in March 2017. She therefore attended A&E at her local hospital the same day where x-rays were taken and she was advised that she had suffered a fracture of the right radial neck and head. She was therefore referred to the Fracture Clinic at another hospital and she attended there for follow up treatment six days later.

Thereafter and despite numerous and regular review appointments at the Fracture Clinic, there was a repeated failure to diagnose the extent of our client’s elbow fracture and in particular to diagnose that she had suffered from a posteriorly displaced fracture fragment. In addition, there was a failure to arrange a CT scan at any stage, to refer her to a Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Physiotherapy and to offer and undertake surgical stabilization of her injury to correct the misalignment of her elbow. It was not until March 2018 when she attended a different Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon that the extent of her injuries was correctly diagnosed.

In light of the above, our client instructed us to investigate the standard of treatment which she had received. We therefore obtained copies of her clinical records and instructed an independent Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon based outside Northern Ireland. It was our expert’s opinion that the treatment which our client received fell below the standards to be expected and that it had caused her and will continue to cause her pain and suffering together with loss of movement in her right elbow and hand. It was further noted that these injuries significantly impacted on our client’s ability to undertake activities of daily living including cooking, cleaning and personal care. Our expert also concluded that there was no guarantee that remedial surgery would now be beneficial to our client.

Following initial correspondence with the Defendant’s solicitors, it was necessary to enter into Court proceedings in order to progress our client’s case. Ultimately settlement negotiations were commenced in 2023 during which it was agreed that our client would receive £40,000.00 encompassing awards in respect of the avoidable pain, suffering and inconvenience which she had endured and the out of pocket expenses which she had incurred.

Commenting on the settlement of her case, our client said: “The continued support from O’Reilly Stewart when Claire Hunt became lead O’Reilly Stewart representative was excellent. She kept me in the loop and spoke honestly about the process. I was happy with everything provided by O’Reilly Stewart.”

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