News and Events

£16,500 damages agreed for negligent surgery on arm

View profile for Carol Maunder
  • Posted
  • Author

Carol Maunder, Partner and Head of the Clinical Negligence Department, acted as the Solicitor for the claimant on the case outlined below (Relfe v Hywel Dda Local Health Board).

The facts

In December 2010, the claimant was involved in a car accident. She was taken to Aberystwyth Hospital, x-rayed and advised that she had broken her right arm in two places. The next day she underwent surgery and the bones in her right arm were fixed with a metal plate and screws.

At the claimant's first follow up appointment it was discovered that her right wrist had also been fractured, but this was missed at the original appointment.

The claimant attended numerous appointments, physiotherapy and underwent further surgery to her right arm in September 2011, when the plate was removed. In May 2012, the claimant was advised that there was still a mal-union of the fractures. The claimant underwent a third operation which included an artificial bone graft and 20 staples.

Breach of duty/causation

The main medical evidence was provided by the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Traumatologist on both liability and condition and prognosis. It was the claimant's case that it was negligent for an intra-focal screw to be placed in teh site of her right ulna fracture during the original surgery in December 2010. Without the intra-focal screw it was the claimant's case that the fracture would have healed within three to six months and all symptoms would have resolved in two years.

It was also alleged that the ulna plate was removed prematurely during the second operation, which resulted in a re-fracture and the need for a third operation to re-install a plate in May 2012. It is likely that the plate would have had to have been removed at some point, but as a result of its premature removal the claimant suffered the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the re-fracture of the ulna and it was necessary for her to undergo two operations rather than one.

Special damages

A global settlement figure of £16,500 was eventually agreed.

If you think you have a similar case or would like more information please do not hesitate to contact the Clinical Negligence Team at Dutton Gregory Solicitors on 01202 315005, or email