A negligent spine surgery compensation claim, made on behalf of a former barrister, has been resolved with the approval of a €7.1 million settlement.
The claimant – a 46-year-old former barrister – attended the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry, Dublin, for elective routine cervical spine surgery in 2014 after complaining of ongoing back pain. Although the surgery itself was successful, a failure to properly manage his levels of anaesthetic during his recovery resulted in the claimant suffering a hypoxic brain injury.
Due to being starved of oxygen during his recovery from the surgery, the claimant needs now twenty-four hour care. The former barrister can react to the presence of his family and smile at his two children, but he cannot communicate his needs or when he is in pain. He is currently being cared for in a care home, but the long-term plan is for him to be cared for at the family home in Clonee, County Meath.
On her husband´s behalf, the former barrister´s wife made a negligent spine surgery compensation claim against anaesthetist Deirdre Lohan. Liability was not admitted until last month, when a settlement of €7.1 million was agreed. As the negligent spine surgery compensation claim had been made on behalf of a claimant unable to represent themselves, the settlement had to be approved by a judge.
The approval hearing took place at the High Court, where Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that the claimant´s care had been paid for to date by a trust sent up by friends and colleagues shortly after his injury. He also heard that the claimant´s wife was happy to accept the offer of settlement on her husband´s behalf because the litigation process had been distressing for her and she wanted it finished.
Judge Cross approved the settlement of the negligent spine surgery compensation claim, sympathising with the family for the “terrible tragedy” they had suffered.