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Cataract surgery case study

07 July 2014

DORA MACKAY* -V- WINCHESTER AND EASTLEIGH NHS TRUST

On 20 January 2009, our Client Dora* (the Claimant) had cataract surgery to her left eye. The process involved introducing a new lens through an injector which is filled with vitreous solution. Unfortunately it appeared that the lens became damaged in the process of loading it into the injector and there was insufficient fluid provided when it was then placed into the eye. Subsequent removal of the damaged lens then caused injury to the corneal surface of the eye. Unfortunately it left Dora with very poor vision and pain. She required further surgery and underwent a corneal transplant operation. She now has to live her life virtually blind in one eye and without a lens at all. The NHS Trust denied liability throughout and proceedings in the High Court were issued. Eventually after disclosing expert evidence from an Ophthalmologist an offer in settlement was received. The offer was too low but after a series of negotiations we were able to secure a settlement figure of £75,000.00 in damages for Dora, plus all of her costs.

Our comment

These type of ophthalmic cases are very complex due to the fact that a number of cataract operations can fail. To prove there is negligence in any case we have to always obtain independent medical assessment to support the allegation. This case in particular was extremely complex, with the Ophthalmic medical expert initially thinking that there may not necessarily be negligence. One of the most important steps in achieving a successful case is in relation to the choice of medical expert and their evidence to support our allegations of breach of duty of care. In the final stages we took a hard line in relation to negotiations to achieve the maximum possible level of compensation for our client. She was very satisfied with the outcome and was quite surprised at the amount she actually received at the end of the day.

Dora's* comments

“I am grateful for all your involvement in this and I thank all concerned. Barlow Robbins staff have always been so courteous (secretaries and receptionists). It was an anxious time for me and I hope never to experience the likes again. Your input really got things moving and I can now relax a little. So nice to have met you.”

Case summary for a client of Caroline Flashman

*The name of our client has been amended for privacy