Home / Insights / Blog / Multi-million pound compensation payout for man paralysed after back surgery

Multi-million pound compensation payout for man paralysed after back surgery

Multi-million pound compensation payout for man paralysed after back surgery

A 44-year-old man has secured a compensation payout totaling £2.75 million after he received negligent care at Croydon University Hospital. The payment includes a lump sum that will pay for his immediate needs, along with annual payments to cover the cost of his ongoing care.

Acute leg pain that began to affect his mobility

A father-of-four has been awarded a substantial compensation payment following treatment he received at Croydon University Hospital, which left him paralysed from the waist down. The 44-year-old, who cannot be named due to his vulnerability, has undergone several surgical procedures but is still unable to walk and has no sensation or function from his lower-middle back down.

In 2006, the man visited his GP as he was frequently experiencing acute pain in his lower legs, which he complained was beginning to affect his mobility. On the basis of these symptoms, the doctor concluded that the man was suffering a non-urgent muscular problem and referred him to the hospital – but as his condition was not described as urgent, the appointment was scheduled for April 2007. By the time the appointment arrived, the man was unable to stand up unaided.

It was then discovered that the 44-year-old was suffering a prolapsed disc. The spine consists of 24 vertebrae, or individual bones, that stack up on top of each other, with protective circular pads of cartilage, or protective tissue, called discs, in between. A prolapsed disc occurs when one of the discs that sit between the bones of the spine are damaged and begin to press on the spinal cord or on a single nerve root. While some people can go through life without knowing they have slipped a disc, others experience symptoms such as numbness or weakness in other areas of the body. However, due to the considerable length of time that had elapsed between the man seeing his GP and his hospital appointment, his condition had become significantly worse.

Patient paralysed from the waist down following negligent surgery

A month later, the man was finally scheduled for an MRI scan, which then revealed an urgent need for surgery. The father-of-four stated that medics at Croydon University Hospital led him to believe that the surgery would help to improve his condition, and that he would be able to return to standing and walking unaided. However, far from returning him to an independent life, the procedure left the man with no function or sensation below the tenth thoracic vertebra in the lower-middle back. Further surgery was carried out, but failed to improve his situation and he remains paralysed.

Following negotiations with the Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, an out-of-court settlement was reached, which the High Court has now approved. The 44-year-old is set to receive a lump sum payment of £1.74 million, which will be used to pay for adjustments to his home and for specially adapted equipment to improve his quality of life. £35,000 a year will be paid until 2029 to cover ongoing care costs, with the annual figure set to increase at that point to £120,000.

A source close to the family said: “While this settlement will not change what happened, it will allow him a better quality of life with the financial security of knowing he can pay for the care he needs now and into the future.”

The NHS has apologized to the individual and his family and stated: “We hole that the resolution of this case will enable his lifetime needs to be properly met.”

Making a surgical negligence compensation claim following back or spine surgery

You are entitled to expect a certain standard of treatment from those providing medical assistance to you. If this treatment falls below standard you may be entitled to recover the cost of the private medical treatment needed to correct the failings on the part of those originally treating you.

If you have concerns about the medical care that you have received, please contact one of our hospital and surgical negligence lawyers at IBB Solicitors. Our goal is to obtain justice for victims of the negligence by others, by securing compensation that reflects their pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses including loss of earnings, treatment costs and specialist care costs.

Please contact a member of our team on 01895 207835 or 01895 207295. Alternatively, you can send an email with your name and contact information and brief details as to the nature of the accident/clinical negligence and the injuries sustained to malcolm.underhill@ibblaw.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.