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Compensation awarded after quadriceps tendon ruptured following knee replacement

Six-figure settlement for client who suffered an undiagnosed ruptured tendon

Posted on 26 April 2010

Kelly Lawford, specialist clinical negligence solicitor at Leigh Day & Co, has obtained damages of £425,000 for a client who suffered an undiagnosed quadriceps tendon rupture following knee replacement surgery.

J, then aged 66, underwent right knee replacement surgery at Ravenscourt Park Hospital in March 2004.  Following surgery she suffered a quadriceps tendon rupture but this was not recognised before she was discharged from hospital and it went undiagnosed for more than a month.

When the rupture was eventually diagnosed, repair surgery was carried out but the delayed diagnosis made it difficult to achieve a good repair and the operation was unsuccessful.  Another procedure had to be carried out a number of months after that which was successful in making her knee stable to walk on but left her with little ability to flex her knee.  J subsequently had to have three further surgical procedures to try to improve things. Despite these, she continued to have substantially restricted mobility and was no longer able to do many of the things she had previously enjoyed.  She could no longer continue to work as a bar person as she had before her injury and she had to rely on others for assistance with household tasks and other aspects of her daily life. It was also difficult for her to access and get around her home which was on two floors and positioned on a hill.

We investigated the claim on J’s behalf.  After obtaining expert advice we asked the NHS Trust responsible for Ravenscourt Park Hospital to agree it was liable for her injuries.  Initially they denied responsibility but nearly a year later, after proceedings had been issued and J’s claim had been put to them again, they admitted liability and judgment was then entered in J’s favour. A trial to consider the amount of compensation to which J was entitled was then arranged.

Expert evidence was obtained about J’s prognosis and her future care and accommodation needs. It became clear that she was at risk of needing further joint surgery in the future and that her condition would need to be kept under surveillance. She was also likely to continue to need help with care and would need specialist items of equipment to help her cope with her ongoing problems. She would also need to move to a single storey home which was more suitable for her needs.

J made an offer to the defendant to settle her case once the financial value of her claim was clear and after subsequent settlement discussions with the defendant approximately two months before trial, they agreed to pay the sum previously offered by J.

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