Mr M injured his hand whilst skiing. He attended the Hospital where x-rays were taken.
The x-rays were of very poor quality and were interpreted as showing that there was no bony injury. Mr W was reassured that all was well.
Pryers’ investigations showed that the poor quality x-ray images should not have been relied upon by the treating doctors and should have been repeated. Failure to do so was negligent.
Had it not been for the Hospital’s negligence, the fracture would have been diagnosed when Mr M was first seen and he would have been treated in a plaster cast, with a good recovery within around two months.
Instead, almost two months later Mr M was still in pain. He returned to the Hospital for further investigations. Repeat x-rays confirmed that he had in fact suffered a fractured scaphoid bone, which had been missed when he first attended Hospital.
As a result of the delay, Mr W’s fracture had started to unite out of alignment and he therefore required surgery to correct this, which would otherwise have been avoided.
As a consequence of the Hospital’s negligence, Mr W was left with permanent disability, including a reduced range of movement in his wrist and limited dexterity. He worked as a joiner and there was concern that he would have difficulty securing employment owing to his injury.
The Hospital firmly denied Mr W’s claim, even after Pryers started court proceedings against them.
However, with Pryers’ persistence, the Hospital agreed to pay Mr W £26,000 in compensation, which included sum to reflect the potential disadvantage Mr W would suffer on the labour market.