Negligent Brain Surgery Compensation Claim Resolved Out of Court

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by Editor

A negligent brain surgery compensation claim, made by a patient whose benign tumour could have been treated with medication, has been resolved out of court for an undisclosed amount.

In early 2008, an abnormal growth around the pituitary gland of John Tunney´s brain was discovered on an MRI scan by doctors at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry. Sixty-three year old John from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands underwent brain surgery the following April, but instead of taking a biopsy of the abnormal growth, the surgeon performing the operation removed some of John´s healthy brain tissue.

Due to the surgeon´s negligence, John suffered a brain haemorrhage, which has left him partially blind and requiring 24 hour care. Following his discharge, John found out that the brain surgery had been unnecessary, as doctors had failed to properly check the results of a blood test that revealed a prolactinoma – a common and benign pituitary tumour that could have been treated with medication.

After seeking legal advice, John made a negligent brain surgery compensation claim against the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. After an investigation into the circumstances leading up to and during John´s brain surgery, the NHS Trust admitted liability for his injuries and Richard Kennedy – the chief medical officer for the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust – apologised for the surgeon´s negligence. Kennedy said:

“I very much regret the tragic outcome for Mr Tunney and his family, and on behalf of the trust would like to apologise for this. Since 2008, this case has been thoroughly reviewed through our governance process and I am confident that measures have been put in place to prevent this type of incident reoccurring”. 

After a review of the future care John will need for the rest of his life, an undisclosed settlement of John´s negligent brain surgery compensation claim – believed to be in seven figures – was negotiated. As part of the settlement, John requested that the surgeon who conducted the operation on his brain should be reported to the General Medical Council.

Speaking after settlement had been announced, John´s wife – Pamela – told the press: “John’s brain injury has had devastating effects on him. Prior to the surgery, he was a very easygoing person who was always active and on the go. To see the change in him and to know that it was all entirely avoidable is extremely upsetting”.

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