Following instructions from NHS Resolution, Clyde & Co have successfully defended a claim involving an alleged negligently performed shoulder operation.

The Claimant, who was seeking more than £300,000 in damages, alleged that the surgeon had caused him to suffer a brachial plexus nerve injury by using excessive force during the course of a routine operation to treat his frozen shoulder.

NHS Resolution instructed Clyde & Co to investigate the Claimant's allegations and we obtained independent expert evidence indicating that the Claimant's injuries had probably not been caused by the surgery, but were more likely to have been related to the Claimant's pre-existing health problems, including diabetes and degenerative spinal conditions.

In accordance with NHS Resolution strategy, attempts were made to resolve the claim without recourse to Court proceedings. A round table meeting was held, at which offers were made to the Claimant in view of some litigation risk and in an effort to avoid the considerable costs that would be associated with a fully contested trial. However, the Claimant chose to reject those offers and NHS Resolution therefore instructed us to robustly defend the case at trial.

Following a 5 day trial earlier this year, the Judge ruled in favour of the NHS Trust, finding that there was no evidence that the surgeon had done anything wrong during the course of the procedure, and no evidence that the Claimant had actually sustained a brachial plexus injury. Ultimately, the Judge concluded that "unless it is proved that a brachial plexus injury has been sustained, the case in negligence does not get off the ground".

As a result of the Judgment in this case, NHS Resolution will now be able to recoup its legal costs from the Claimant's insurers.

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