Case Studies

07 June 2024

Battens specialist Clinical Negligence Team has recently achieved a very satisfactory settlement of a claim pursued on behalf of a gentleman who lost his left leg, above the knee, as a result, we argued, of delayed care and treatment by the NHS.

The Claim

Our client, a gentleman with a number of pre-existing health issues, attended his local Accident and Emergency Department after suffering a sudden onset of pain in his left calf whilst he was working, carrying out groundworks.

Having initially thought the pain was caused by a simple strain, it subsequently became clear that the issue was more serious. Our client noticed that his lower left leg was white, and his left toenails had turned blue. He noticed a feeling of numbness in his left leg, from the knee down.

Having been told that there would be a long wait for an ambulance, our client was eventually taken to his local A&E department by his family, who had to help him limp inside from the car.

Following triage and our client having been told that he would need to be transferred to another hospital some 40+ miles away where he could be more appropriately assessed and then cared for by a Vascular Surgeon and specialist team, which they did not have in the local hospital, our client experienced a significant delay in being moved through the local hospital system before he was eventually transferred by ambulance to the other hospital for assessment and treatment.

Whilst the specialists at the other hospital worked quickly and got him into theatre as a matter of urgency following his arrival, the delay proved too significant for his left leg to be saved.

The Defendants NHS Trust’s response

In the circumstances, the Defendant NHS Trust admitted that there had been a breach of the duty of care they owed to our client, which would normally lead to an agreement to compensate our client for the pain, suffering and financial losses that flowed from that breach.

However, in this case, the Defendant NHS Trust argued that even without the negligent delays caused from the time our client initially presented himself to A&E, our client’s situation was such that the loss of his leg was inevitable i.e. even if there had been no delay, he still would have lost the leg.

The Outcome

Whilst court proceedings were issued within the period the law stipulates, the parties were subsequently able to negotiate a settlement at a sum quite significantly lower than what could have been the full value of the claim had everything been admitted, but which appropriately factored in the risk that the claim could have been unsuccessful at trial (had the Judge preferred the Defendant’s expert evidence over ours), in which case our client would have received nothing.

As well as achieving a sum of compensation our client was happy with, he was also successful in recovering the majority of his legal costs, which saw him reimbursed in full for the significant sum of experts fees and court fees he had paid as his claim had continued.

For assistance with clinical negligence claims, please contact Kate Golding, Head of Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence – Tel: 01935 846072 or Email: