Express Solicitors secure £1.9 million after spinal surgery failures
After tragic surgical circumstances left a man paralysed from the waist down, a legal quagmire that dragged on for years left a family unsupported and uncertain of the future.
After four other law firms rejected their case, Express Solicitors was able to secure them £1.9 million in surgical negligence compensation to help move forward with their lives.
Surgical mistake leads to paralysis
Mr Brian Jefferson was a butcher who enjoyed watching his sons play rugby and taking long walks in the Moors. An active and healthy man, he sought medical advice when he started to have pain in his back and feeling pins and needles in his arms. After his GP arranged an MRI scan, Mr Jefferson was sent to surgery with a nationally recognised expert to remove a prolapsed disc.
After the operation he woke up with no feeling in his legs. Crucially, it took 24 hours for the hospital to perform the scan which would find a blood clot compressing his spine at the site of the surgery. While the clot was removed with a subsequent operation, Mr Jefferson was left paralysed with no sensation or movement from the waist down.
He suffers every day with leg spasms and has had to undergo several surgeries to remove excess bone growth from his hips. His life was changed irrevocably due to circumstances well beyond his control.
Precedent for litigation
This was a difficult case to approach, which led to four other firms rejecting it out of hand before Express Solicitors took it on. The main difficulty was that the surgeon in question was a nationally recognised expert in the field and it would need to be accepted that the clot was caused by surgical malpractice.
Express Solicitors’ Ben Gent had this to say on the case,
“The fact that this case scared off other firms didn’t faze us. We approached it like we would any other: with compassion, understanding, and a tireless pursuit for justice for our client.”
With relation to what ultimately caused the damage to the spine, there were two lines of argument. The first was that a highly respected neurosurgeon had made a basic mistake when planning the surgery. The argument being that the size and location of the disc prolapse meant that it would have been easier to access through the chest, as opposed through the back, avoiding the spine entirely.
This asserted that Mr Jefferson’s spinal cord had been damaged by contact with surgical instruments which would have been avoided with a better choice of approach. It also meant that Mr Jefferson would have had a near full recovery from appropriately performed surgery. These are hard charges to level at one of the country’s leading neurosurgeons.
The counter argument would be that the spinal cord was damaged by the blood clot and it can’t be proven that this was as a result of the surgery. However, on their own, blood clots usually develop over time.
This means that neurological symptoms would have progressed gradually as well. Mr Jefferson, on the other hand, suffered immediate and profound paralysis. If this was the case, then he still would have suffered severe neurological damage even if the clot was swiftly removed.
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A £1.9 million successful settlement
Any amount of money can’t appropriately compensate for losing your mobility. However, the medical negligence team were honoured to be able to help Mr Jefferson win £1.9 million in damages in order to help him and his family move forward as equipped as possible.
The case took eight years to conclude and, after other firms turned it down it very nearly didn’t start at all.
This sum has allowed Mr Jefferson to move forward with his life with a bungalow by the coast, an all-terrain wheelchair to enjoy the beach with his grandchildren, and care staff to make his life at home easier.