Jonathan from Leeds suffered a large laceration to his non-dominant hand and wrist in December 2013. He attended his local A&E department the same day, where the laceration was cleaned and sutured, with no further investigations or treatment being undertaken. Jonathan began experiencing weakness and numbness to the hand and was referred back to hospital by his GP in February 2014. Following investigations undertaken by a Plastic and Hand Surgeon, Jonathan was diagnosed with a partial thickness injury to the ulnar nerve in his wrist. Unfortunately, it was too late for Jonathan to undergo surgery to repair the nerve and all that could be offered to him was hand therapy.
Jonathan instructed Pryers to investigate a potential clinical negligence claim against the hospital Trust. Pryers obtained evidence from an expert Plastic and Hand Surgeon, who confirmed that, had Jonathan undergone timely repair at the time of the laceration in December, his hand would have improved and he would have had near full function of the hand after a year, with some minor discomfort.
As it was, Jonathan had considerable pain and weakness in his hand, which restricted his ability to carry out normal daily tasks and his future employment.
It was put to the Defendant that they failed to adequately investigate any nerve injury at the time of Jonathan’s first presentation to hospital, and that failure to repair the nerve at this time had caused permanent damage to Jonathan’s hand. The Defendant Trust accepted that they had breached the duty of care owed to Jonathan, but they alleged that he would have always had some difficulties and restrictions in any event. Settlement negotiations began, which took some time to finalise, but eventually, Jonathan was happy to accept an offer of £85,000 for his case.