Mediation secures settlement following amputation due to delay in treatment

31 August 2017

Mr Williams, aged 71, had a history of peripheral artery disease and Type 2 diabetes. After suffering a painful ulcer on his right foot he went to the A&E Department of his local hospital for treatment. He was prescribed painkillers and antibiotics and sent home.
Mediation secures settlement following amputation due to delay in treatment

Unfortunately, the ulcer on his foot did not improve. Four weeks later Mr Williams went back to his GP who referred him to the Diabetic Foot Clinic at the hospital. At the appointment he was examined but was not referred to a vascular surgeon for specialist treatment.

Shortly after the appointment Mr Williams’ fourth toe become gangrenous and he was finally referred to the vascular team at the hospital. He received treatment from this team over the next three months, but the treatment proved unsuccessful and by this time it was too late to save his leg. He had no choice but to undergo a below-knee amputation of his right leg.

Mr Williams sought legal advice from Sumit Morjaria, a specialist solicitor in Shoosmiths medical negligence team. Sumit was instructed to pursue a claim for the delay in the hospital referring Mr Williams to the vascular surgery team for timely treatment. If the Mr Williams had been referred urgently and received timely treatment it would have saved his right foot which would have subsequently saved his right leg.

Supportive evidence was obtained from medical experts in emergency care, diabetology and vascular surgery. The hospital initially denied all liability before eventually admitting there had been negligent delay in referring Mr Williams for specialist treatment. However, the hospital continued to deny that the amputation of Mr Williams’ right leg would have been avoided.

In an attempt to achieve a settlement for our client without the need to go to court, Shoosmiths invited the hospital’s representatives to attend a mediation meeting.
Mediation is an informal, voluntary and confidential process in which a trained neutral person called a mediator helps the parties resolve their dispute. A mediator’s role is not to take sides but he or she will often help to test the strength of each side’s position and explore solutions.

Shoosmiths represented and supported our client and his family at the mediation meeting. We secured a six-figure settlement for Mr Williams at the mediation meeting which avoided the need to go to a trial.



This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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