PANUNZIO v SANTODOMINGO RUBIDO (2017) Total Damages: £15,000 (£16,056.5 RPI)
The dental claimant, an 85-year-old man, received £15,000 for the allegedly inadequate dental treatment surrounding the placement of a dental implant in January 2016. He sustained permanent damage to the inferior alveolar nerve on the left side and a psychiatric injury associated with the nerve injury. Clinical Negligence: On 14 December 2015, the claimant (C) discussed with the defendant dentist (D) issues with his lower dentures. A panoramic x-ray was taken to check the mandible for possible implant treatment. It was noted as quality grade I and that the bone was suitable for implantation. A treatment plan including two dental implants with a locator attachment acrylic over-denture with a metallic frame was agreed. On January 11 2016, two implants were placed at LL3 and LR3 using a crestal incision.
On 25 January, C returned to D, complaining of numbness to the lower left region. He was advised to return in two weeks if the symptoms had not subsided. On 9 February, C returned and it was noted that his symptoms had not improved. He was informed that he could be suffering from nerve damage. He was referred to a dental hospital for a cone beam computed tomography scan.
On 12 February, it was confirmed that the lower left implant was very close to and/or touching the inferior alveolar nerve causing damage to the same. D advised for the implant to be removed and replaced closer to the mid line. On 18 February, the lower left implant was removed and re-positioned.
C's numbness remained and, by 4 March, C returned to D where he was offered a full refund and for any future treatment to be provided free of charge. C sustained injury and brought a dental negligence action against D alleging that he was negligent in (i) failing to adequately analyse the OPG film to assess C's ridge prior to implantation; (ii) failing to record that, due to the resorbed ridge, the alveolar nerve was exiting the mental foramen at the crest of the ridge; (iii) failing to identify the superficial mental foramen in relation to the implant position by not obtaining a further OPG scan with radio graphic markers, thereby causing the lower left implant to be placed in contiguity with the ID nerve. The Claimant alleged clinical negligent failures in the use of and technique of siting the impants and of failing to deal efficiently and in a timely manner with regard to ongoing symptoms.
Effects: C endured the pain and suffering of bone grafting, implantation and revised implantation to the lower-left side. Because of the nerve injury, he had no sensation to that part of his face and he found it very difficult to eat or drink. C suffered with drooping and dribbling to the left-hand side of his mouth which resulted in social anxiety and depressive mood episodes. The associated and recognised psychiatric condition fulfilled the DSM-5 (2013) criteria for adjustment order with anxiety and depressed mood.
The settlement damages is an example of the requirement to establish a sensible resolution in the face of stressful litigation for the Claimant - who was caused anxiety by the action itself. The damages were almost certainly a reflection of the claimants advanced age and this was argued by and accepted by the Claimant team in that the period of suffering is likely to be diminished proportionality.
BOUTH v Dr. SMITH (2017)
Total Damages: £34,000 (£34,138.33 RPI)
Age at trial: 56
The claimant, a 56-year-old woman, received £34,000 after undergoing allegedly sub-standard root canal treatment via her NHS Dentist, in May 2014. She suffered an abscess which infected neighboring tissue and caused a cellulitis reaction across her face there was severe constant pain and was expected to lose 2 teeth as a consequence of the permanent destruction of the supportive tissue shortly. C brought an action against D alleging that he was negligent in failing to refer her to a specialist endodontist when experiencing problems; to use appropriate radiology to determine the working length; to use fillings of a sufficient length; to use a rubber dam during the procedure causing the spillage of acid etch into the oral cavity. To misdiagnose the resultant infections, to prescribe inappropriate and or inadequate antibiotic medication and to fail to refer onward when the post operative condition deteriorated.
Breach of duty admitted causation reserved.
Prognosis: At the date of settlement, C was expected to lose the tooth at UR6 and 7 imminently. There was permanent loss of 2 other teeth and a period of intense suffering of over 24 months. some psychiatric involvement was necessary before future treatment. The Claimant had a public facing role and therefore a nhs claim followed, the Claimant was intensely aware of her appearance, the award reflected the seriousness of the effect on her and her capacity to work while undergoing significant cosmetic reconstructive surgery.
H v AINTREE UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST (2018)
Total Damages: £12,000 (£12,263.21 RPI)
The dental claimant, a 37-year-old man, received £12,000 for the lack of adequate dental treatment surrounding the extraction of his LR7 in June 2017. He suffered permanent damage to his right inferior dental nerve and found it very difficult to eat or drink. On 20 June 2015, the claimant (C) attended a hospital of the defendant trust (D), following a referral by his dentist for the extraction of LR7 and “+/- of any necessary teeth”. During the procedure and once LR7 had been extracted, it was noted by the treating clinician that LR8 was grossly carious and so it was decided to extract LR8 also so as to prevent socket infection. It was later noted that the caries to LR8 was not visible radio-graphically. However it was not clear whether any radio-graphs of the LRQ were ever taken or if the clinician had sight of any sent to him by C's dentist prior to extraction.
The extraction of LR7 and LR8 was difficult and the surgical notes confirmed that they were “both difficult to remove and much drilling and drone necessary” and the teeth were “completely fused to the bone”. One month after the procedure C returned to the hospital complaining of numbness to the lower left lip and chin and swelling around the right inferior alveolar nerve. C was advised of suspect nerve damage to the same and that it could take up to 18 months to heal.
C returned on 29 September 2015 with the continued symptomology and Cone Bean CT scan showed no evidence of retained roots. Given that C symptoms had improved very little by 4 January 2016, it was advised he would likely require surgery in an attempt to repair the damaged nerve. C sustained injury and brought an action against D alleging that it was negligent in failing (i) to seek consent prior to the extraction of LR8; (ii) to take radiography of LRQ prior to extraction; (iii) to detect obvious caries at LR8 (if in existence at all) and the extent of the same.
Examination by expert dental legal experts revealed permanent impaired facility for taste and associated impact on speech with numbness radiating across the tongue and into lower lip. The award reflected the damage to the individual who worked as a teacher.
IN THE ESTATE OF DH V AINTREE UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST (2017)
The Estate claimed under the provision of the Fatal Accidents Act for the deceased death by paracetamol overdose whilst an inpatient at the Defendant Trusts Hospital being treated for peritonitis. The estate claimed no win no fee that the Hospital had committed a Breach of Duty denied. Complex evidence at trial was drawn from histopathology, gastroenterology, toxicology and emergency medical expert witnesses which were contended however, judgment resulted in a trial overturn of the denial and culpability being found for several breaches of clinical protocol in the administration, recording and monitoring of acetaminophen products. As a consequence the Hospitals procedures were updated to include checks and prompts to prevent future deaths.
INQUEST INTO THE DEATH OF ES 2017.
The deceased was formerly admitted as an inpatient in the Neath Port Talbot Hospital in South Wales for treatment of a fractured ankle. Failed operations to stabilise the ankle resulted in repeated courses of antibiotics and widespread sepsis infection.
The Deceased became increasingly unwell and contracted a immune compromised fungal infection and lost weight catastrophically. She died as a consequence of multi organ failure 3 months post admission. Inquest resulted in wide investigation by the trust and together with other similar cases formed the basis of police intervention into the trusts ward based hygiene and monitoring practices. A nhs claim was not initiated by the estate.
IK v Bradford University Hospitals NHS (Foundation) Trust 2017
PLSA £360,000.00 (£391,000.00)
The Claimant suffered a stabbing wound as the consequence of a DIY accident (screwdriver blade) which was cleaned and closed in the Emergency Department of the Defendants Hospital. The wound however, was not fully explored and the closure resulted in the formation of a intravenous fistula. This had a long term impact on the individuals development and general health.
The Claimant suffered a thrombosis as a consequence of the fistulas effect on venal sufficiency. Breach and Causation denied by the trust and admitted by the time of assessment. Intra venous surgery following the action resulted in a 80% improvement in condition.
KJ v Doncaster and Bassetlaw (Foundation) NHS Trust
The Claimant suffered a 3c degree perineal tear as a consequence of a mismanaged forceps delivery where there was a recorded failure to control delivery. Claimant had future susceptibility to perineal tearing and had transient double incontinence.
FO v Barnsley and South Yorks NHS Trust 2017
The Claimant suffered psychiatric damage after a loop of her bowel prolapsed through the failed suture site of her CS. Both breach and causation were denied initially by the Defendant whose evidence was challenged by complex medical evidence.