Hugh James recovers £190,000 for a client who was advised by his original solicitors that a claim could not be made

27 Mar 2017 | Case Studies

Andrew Davies settled a case of gallbladder surgery negligence brought against Cwm Taf Local Health Board, where damages totalled £190,000.

The claimant (AJ) underwent surgery in 2001 after being diagnosed with stones in his gallbladder and bile duct. AJ underwent a procedure known as endoscopic sphincterotomy to remove the gallstones. After the procedure he began to suffer recurring pain and illness and over four years later in November 2005 was readmitted to hospital. Tests revealed that the gallbladder had become inflamed and required removal.  AJ was placed on a waiting list for gallbladder removal surgery and given antibiotics as a course of treatment.

In January 2006, surgery was performed to remove the inflamed gallbladder and shortly after AJ began to suffer consistent abdominal pain. Tests were preformed, which highlighted abnormalities in liver function, prompting further investigation. An ultra sound scan showed that fluid, believed to have come from the bile duct had leaked into the abdominal area.

AJ began to deteriorate further and was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham where he underwent additional surgery. It became apparent that he had sustained a major injury to the bile duct following removal of his gallbladder, which required reconstructive surgery. Due to complications from the initial removal procedure, AJ will continue to endure health issues. He is susceptible to further complications and may require additional surgery.

AJ issued a complaint against the Cwm Taf Local Health Board for what he considered to be gallbladder negligence. In response they cited that an inflamed gallbladder had made the surgery difficult and that the injury sustained was “forgivable”. AJ continued to pursue his complaint and instructed solicitors, who on receipt of an expert medical report, advised that a claim could not be made!

It was suspected that improper legal advice had been given which was confirmed by a secondary medical expert. AJ then instructed Andrew Davies of Hugh James Cardiff to act on his behalf. Following the intervention by Andrew, on August 7th 2008 Cwm Taf Local Health Board admitted that surgery had caused harm and prolonged illness to the patient, which led to a settlement of £190,000 being awarded.

The entire episode was and will continue to be distressing for AJ whose life has changed dramatically due to medical negligence. Andrew Davies from the Medical Negligence team at Hugh James is quoted as saying “this was a challenging case, it appeared everyone was against AJ but his belief and determination led to him receiving the compensation he truly deserved following an extremely difficult and life changing period”.

AJ also offered comment and said “I’m disappointed by the advice I received from my former solicitor.  When I consulted Andrew Davies of Hugh James he was very professional and had reassured me that there was merit in my claim. Andrew did everything possible to assist me during this difficult period and I regard him as a real gentleman, thank you”

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