On 2nd March 2009 the Claimant was referred by his GP to Central Middlesex Hospital with a history of rectal bleeding for two months and a family history of carcinoma of the colon. On 29th April 2009 the Claimant underwent colonoscopy, which revealed a large rectal mass with macroscopic features of rectal carcinoma. 

On 3rd June 2009 the Claimant underwent surgery to remove the rectal cancer.  During his recovery, the Claimant suffered with significant abdominal pain which the specialist registrar believed was caused by leaking from the colo-anal anastomosis. On 4th June 2009 the Claimant underwent an emergency laparotomy.

Following the procedure the Claimant became hypertensive and he was admitted to intensive care. The Claimant's relatives were advised that he may not survive.  He was on maximum organ support and was deteriorating.  He had an extremely difficult time with multisystem failure. He eventually recovered and he was discharged from hospital on 24th July 2009.

Claimant's case

The Claimant's case was that the surgery was not performed to the appropriate standard and that that the anastomotic leak he suffered was the result of ischaemic necrosis of the bowel used for reconstruction.  The Claimant argued that on the balance of probabilities, given the rapidity with which ischemia developed, ischaemia was present at the time of anastomosis. 

Proceedings were issued against the Defendant in the High Court. The Defendant admitted that the surgery carried out on 3rd June 2009 fell below an acceptable standard. The Defendant further admitted that on the balance of probabilities, the Claimant suffered an anastomotic leak, multi-organ failure and wound breakdown as a result of the admitted shortcomings in the performance of the surgery.

Without the negligently performed surgery, the Claimant alleged that he would have fully recovered from the operation within 3 months and would have been able to return to work as a carpenter. As it was, even once he had largely recovered from the complications arising following the surgery, the Claimant was left with a permanent colostomy and massive incisional hernia.  The Claimant contended that he would consequently be unable to return to gainful employment, whether as a carpenter or otherwise.

Settlement

On 18 January 2013, an order was made by consent that judgement be entered for the Claimant on the basis of the admissions by the Defendant in its letter of response. After negotiations, the claim settled with the Defendant agreeing to pay £290,000.00 in compensation to the Claimant, in addition to paying his reasonable legal costs arising from the claim.