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Missed diagnosis of a fracture in both elbows

Defendants - Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust

Background

This claim involved a case against the Claimant’s employer and against the hospital that dealt with his follow up care.

The Claimant whilst employed tripped and fell from the back of his lorry suffering injuries to both elbows.  Liability was agreed with the Claimant’s employer on a contributory negligence basis.

After the accident the Claimant attended  Accident & Emergency Department at East Surrey Hospital. He was reviewed by a triage nurse and then a doctor.  X-rays were also taken.  A diagnosis of muscular bruises was made and the x-ray’s were said to be normal.  In fact the x-rays showed the Claimant had displaced radial fractures on the right and left radial head and coronoid fractures which were not displaced. 

The Claimant continued to see his GP complaining of pain and underwent physiotherapy.  Following remarks made by the physiotherapist the Claimant was sent for further x-rays.

The Claimant was then diagnosed with bilateral fractures of the radial heads along with displacement.   

As a result of the failures to diagnose the initial injury the Claimant required major surgery and was left with restricted movement in both arms.
 

Allegations against hospital

  • Failure to properly interpret the x-rays, diagnose the fractures and treat appropriately

Result

Following an in-depth investigation lead by Linda Levison and assisted by Richard Kayser a letter of claim was sent to both Defendants and liability was admitted. However, each Defendant blamed the other for being responsible for the Claimant’s ongoing symptoms.

Settlement was finally achieved in the sum of £120,000 plus the Claimant’s costs.