Lorna’s cauda equina case settled for €2.5m Ireland
Medical Negligence

Lorna’s cauda equina case settled for €2.5m

4 minute read

Lorna attended her GP complaining of severe back pain, numbness and other symptoms.  Her GP suspected that Lorna might have a very serious problem known as cauda equina syndrome. 

This arises when a certain bundle of nerves in the spine are compressed and it can be a very time-sensitive condition.  If it is not treated promptly, a person can suffer severe problems walking, including paralysis and can suffer severe problems with their bowel and bladder.

Lorna’s GP referred her to the A&E Department of the Defendant Hospital and specifically referred to her concern that this might be cauda equina syndrome.  The Triage nurse at the Hospital also felt this was the case and Lorna herself described symptoms to the A&E Registrar which symptoms were consistent with this syndrome.  However, despite all of this, the A&E Registrar felt that the Client likely had a urinary tract infection and discharged her with antibiotics.

Lorna’s pain got worse

The following week Lorna re-attended her GP as the pain had gotten even worse.  She was referred for an emergency MRI scan which showed that she was indeed suffering from cauda equina syndrome.  Following these findings, she had surgery carried out urgently.  However, due to the delay, she suffered permanent nerve damage resulting in lifelong nerve pain, problems walking and severe damage to her bladder and bowel. 

Lorna initiated a clinical negligence claim

Lorna contacted us as a result of a word-of-mouth recommendation and Joice Carthy was instructed in the case.

It was clear that the care given to Lorna had to be investigated given what appeared to be a very significant error and a delay in correctly diagnosing her and treating her symptoms. 

The treatment given seemed particularly concerning given the fact that Lorna’s GP and the Triage nurse at the Defendant hospital had both suspected cauda equina syndrome.  Several experts were instructed on the issue of liability to show that the care afforded to Lorna was substandard and caused her very serious injuries.

Expert reports were obtained

We also obtained a large number of reports on how Lorna was impacted by her injuries and what her needs would be going forward in terms of specialised accommodation, aids and appliances, medical care, potential future surgeries and various therapies.  This involved taking up a large number of medical records and obtaining a total of twenty one reports.

Proceedings were issued 

The Defendants did not admit any wrongdoing and a Trial date was set.

A few months before the Trial date, the Defendants notified us that they wished to amend their Defence to make certain admissions and ultimately, they admitted breach of duty causing some of the Client’s injuries.  

The cauda equina claim settled

One week before the Trial date, a mediation was held and the matter settled for the sum of €2.5m, which included a large amount for specially adapted accommodation for the Plaintiff, as well as damages for her pain and suffering, her future care and medical treatment and aids and appliances. 

Lorna was both pleased and hugely relieved by the settlement, as she felt her future medical needs were secure and her financial worries were no longer such a burden as she had been unable to work since the negligent treatment due to the extent of her injuries. 

Learn more about our cauda equina syndrome claims services

We are expert cauda equina syndrome claims solicitors. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a diagnosis of CES and would like to know more about what we do, visit Cauda Equina Claims or, Contact Us to speak with an expert.

In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

The name referenced throughout this case study is a pseudonym that has been put in place to protect the client’s privacy.


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