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Dislocated shoulder - failure to diagnose

Defendant: Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust

The Facts

The client was a 35 year old man who suffered sudden pain in his shoulder after a fall out of bed one night. He was taken to the Accident and Emergency dept of his local hospital. He was sent home after having an X-ray.

He continued to suffer severe pain in his shoulder but was not diagnosed with a fracture dislocation of the shoulder for a further 9 months.

As a result of the delay he had to undergo surgery on several occasions and was left with a stiff painful shoulder and a future need for further surgery.


  • The dislocation should have been diagnosed on the first visit to hospital
  • He underwent unnecessary surgery as a result of the failure to do so and had a less favourable outcome as a result.


The defendants admitted failure to diagnose the dislocation but denied responsibility for the ongoing problems. Court proceedings were issued and served. The case was listed for trial. The defendants then made an offer and term of settlement were eventually agreed. The client received damages of  £950,000