A woman from Essex reached settlement in her medical negligence claim after eye surgery complications resulted in her losing her left eye.
Corrina Mottram, solicitor and Partner at Gadsby Wicks, a specialist firm of reputable medical negligence solicitors serving Essex and East Anglia, represented the claimant through her case, helping her to achieve a fair outcome.
Mrs L (anonymised to protect her identity) had a history of hereditary cataracts, and received lens implantations in both of her eyes in 1984.
She experienced no further significant eye problems for over 30 years beyond this point, until a routine eye inspection uncovered a potential issue.
“At her eye inspection, my client was referred to an eye clinic that found a deteriorating condition affecting her left eye”, explains Mottram.
“Following this she was offered a corneal graft surgery (or corneal transplant) to address the condition. This is generally considered to be a relatively safe surgery, and initially appeared to have been completed without issue.”
Approximately eight weeks after Mrs L’s surgery, she awoke to find that she could not see anything out of her left eye. With the eye clinic unavailable on the day she discovered this, she attended A&E who diagnosed her with conjunctivitis and advised her to attend the eye clinic when it reopened two days later.
After some delay at the eye clinic, Mrs L was diagnosed with endophthalmitis, a serious bacterial infection that can cause blindness if not treated immediately.
Unfortunately for Mrs L, the delay in diagnosing and treating her endophthalmitis meant that it was too late to treat, causing her to lose sight in her left eye. Moreover the damage caused to the eye was so significant that the eye was removed shortly thereafter.
Mrs L contacted Gadsby Wicks about her poor outcome, who proceeded to pursue her claim on two counts.
“First, we pursued Mrs L’s claim on the basis that inadequate technique during her corneal graft resulted in a suture coming loose during the procedure,” explained Mottram.
“This mistake allowed the bacterial infection to enter her eyeball, something that should have been avoided with competent technique.”
“In addition, when Mrs L attended A&E on the day that she reported blindness in her left eye, she should have been referred urgently to the on-call ophthalmologist. Had this happened and with appropriate treatment, her vision and eye would have been saved.”
Therefore, Mrs L’s claim was based on both the initial surgical error that caused her infection, and the delayed diagnosis and treatment of her endophthalmitis.
Reinforced by expert evidence provided by two independent ophthalmic surgeons and an independent emergency medical practitioner, Mrs L’s claim was settled prior to the issue of proceedings. The Defendant had already made some admissions of breach of duty and causation of her injuries in the protocol letter of response.
“This regrettable series of mistakes was extremely challenging for my client, significantly affecting her capabilities, appearance and emotional wellbeing,” stated Mottram.
“I was happy that we could achieve a fair, ample settlement for Mrs L with relatively few hurdles along the way. After the suffering and trauma she had endured, it was rewarding to support her through this journey and reach an agreement without the added stress of proceeding to trial.”
“Together we secured the financial security she deserved and the closure she needed to move on from this unfortunate incident.”
This is one of numerous surgical complication claims that Gadsby Wicks handles every year. The firm recently shared a case where a costly delay during breast reconstruction surgery ended in a poor outcome for their client.
About Gadsby Wicks
Gadsby Wicks Solicitors is the only specialist medical negligence firm in Essex and East Anglia. Founded in 1993, every year they help people claim millions in compensation for delayed treatment, medical misdiagnosis, birth injuries, surgical complications and more.
With an extensive level of legal and clinical understanding throughout their team of medical negligence experts, Gadsby Wicks is considered one of the top firms in their field. They work tirelessly to support their clients through the most difficult and complex circumstances, settling 96% of their cases outside of court.
Gadsby Wicks is the first firm in England to have two or more lawyers accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). They are also ranked in the 2024 Chambers UK Legal Guide, and Managing Partner Gillian Gadsby is both on the Clinical Negligence Specialist Panel for Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA), and listed in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame for “Clinical Negligence: Claimant”.
For more information, visit their website at www.gadsbywicks.co.uk, or call their team on 01245 494929.