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Lionel Stride (instructed by Emma Doughty at Slater & Gordon) represented the Claimant in a High Court Montgomery consent case arising out of the alleged failure to offer reasonable alternative treatment in the form of carotid stenting rather than a carotid endarterectomy (“CE”) in circumstances where he had already suffered a partial hypoglossal injury from an earlier procedure. Consequently, during the second CE operation, the Claimant suffered a bilateral hypoglossal injury that caused complete tongue paralysis, loss of speech and inability to swallow, immediate cardiac arrest (caused by his paralysed tongue blocking his airways and leading to hypoxia), the need for a tracheostomy, laryngoscopy and the insertion of a PEG feeding tube. The injury left him unable to communicate verbally, permanently fatigued and with associated respiratory issues. He had retired prematurely and was living a far more isolated life due to his difficulty communicating.
The Defendant denied liability, contending that CS was not a reasonable alternative treatment because it carried a much higher stroke risk; was not offered by or available to practitioners at the treating hospital; and transferring the Claimant to another hospital would have caused life-threatening delay. Causation and quantum also remained heavily in dispute.
The claim ultimately settled at a JSM for £800,000 a month before trial. Although no formal concessions were made, the settlement sum reflected the Claimant’s evidence that he should have been treated as a non-standard case given his original hypoglossal injury; that he would have chosen CS if offered, thereby avoiding any risk of a second hypoglossal injury; and that his consequential injuries had caused permanent disability that would have resulted in him being awarded a high proportion of his pleaded case at trial.
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