£800,000 compensation settlement after GP fails to diagnose cauda equina syndrome

We recovered £800,000 in compensation for a 40 year old man due to a failure by his GP to diagnose cauda equina syndrome (CES).

GP fails to examine patient

He went to see his GP with complaints of pain in the lower back, numbness in the back of the left thigh, saddle area, bottom and groin area and with impaired bowel and bladder function. The GP did not examine him but referred him for an emergency MRI scan. However he was informed that the scan would not take place for a few days or even a week.

The following day, the pain worsened and the numbness had begun to spread so he called his GP again. He was prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets. He was not asked to attend the surgery or go to A&E.

The next day, the numbness worsened and the symptoms had spread to the right leg. He called the GP who told him to go to A&E. When he got to the hospital, he was seen by a Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon and was referred to a different hospital.

He was then diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome and had a lumbar discectomy and urgent decompression operation. He has been informed that he will not recover full function.

Making a medical negligence claim

He took advice from our medical negligence solicitors and a compensation claim was brought against the GP for the failure to diagnose the CES, which has left him with irreparable bowel and bladder damage, impaired mobility and sexual dysfunction.

After High Court proceedings were started, negligence was admitted shortly before trial and Judgment was entered against the GP. A letter of apology was also received from the GP. Expert evidence was obtained from a General Practitioner who confirmed the breach of duty by the GP. Expert evidence was also obtained from a Consultant Neurosurgeon who considered that our client’s outcome would have been significantly better had he been operated three or four days earlier. 

A settlement figure of £800,000 plus full costs was negotiated by Boyes Turner’s medical negligence solicitors and Counsel Clodagh Bradley at a mediation meeting.

There was no cost to our client in bringing this cauda equina syndrome claim which was brought through a no win no fee agreement.

The service provided was first class. You were understanding, caring and professional

David Froud

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