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Neurological damage arising from surgery

Neurological damage arising from surgery

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The Facts

The Claimant, a man of 60 years old, had surgery to remove a neuroma on his greater auricular nerve. Following surgery, the lump returned and it was suggested that he undergo re-exploration.

He therefore underwent a further surgical exploration of his right neck, following which he was left with a neck mass which was increasing in size, pain and tenderness.

After many attendances at hospital, a diagnosis was made that the accessory nerve had been sacrificed during the revision surgery, which was probably irreconstructible. In fact, the Claimant sought a referral/second opinion and subsequently underwent an Eden Lange transfer and further revision surgery in order to improve function in his right shoulder. Unfortunately, he remains in pain and continues to have restricted movement in her shoulder. He is now unable to carry out sporting activities.


  • Failure to warn about the risk of neurological damage arising out of the initial surgery
  • Failing to identify or protect the accessory nerve
  • Failing to advise that the accessory nerve had been sacrificed, and failing to undertake a repair of the same at any time prior to his subsequent referral to another surgeon.


Court proceedings were issued and served. Liability was admitted in that our client:

  • had not been advised of the risk of damage to the accessory nerve
  • the accessory nerve was not identified during surgery and was damaged
  • the damage was not recognised at the time of the surgery

An offer to settle was made, which the claimant rejected as being too low. Court proceedings continued, and shortly before witness evidence was due to be exchanged, a further offer was made. The claimant accepted the sum of £50,000 in full and final settlement of his claim.

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