Amputee wins seven-figure payout as Bradford Royal Infirmary admits fault

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Royal Infirmary Bradford Royal Infirmary

A mechanic who had his leg amputated after staff at Bradford Royal Infirmary missed signs of a serious infection has been awarded a seven-figure payout.

The 52-year-old Bradford man began a four-year legal battle with the hospital over a failure by staff to spot and treat an infection after a routine operation, which left him needing to have the severely-damaged right limb amputated from above the knee.

An investigation by medical negligence experts at Morrish Solicitors in Bradford found his leg could have been saved if doctors had taken action after a positive microbiology test, which was not acted on and filed away.

BRI has now admitted liability and has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum of compensation in an out-of-court settlement. The married man, who does not want to be named, said his ordeal had a “very detrimental effect” on his quality of life.

“I used to be very active, having previously played semi-professional football, but now require help and support from my family in order to undertake daily tasks,” he said.

“Hopefully, this compensation will help me be more independent than at present and allow me to purchase single-floor accommodation which is properly adapted to meet my needs.

“It will also help to provide me with a new limb.”

The man, who had been diagnosed with advanced osteoarthritis, began experiencing swelling to his knee, fainting and hot sweats after a second knee replacement operation in December 2006. He was given intravenous antibiotics and had an arthroscopic washout of his right knee in January 2007, but his surgeon informed him that there was no more treatment available and he was discharged from consultant care.

However, an investigation by his solicitors found a positive microbiology test taken during the washout, which had not been acted on. His representatives argued that had the hospital acted on the results, the knee replacement would have been saved.

In the following months, the man’s knee regularly gave way. He was unable to walk any distance or perform everyday tasks and resigned from his job.

After further problems and treatment, he was advised by the hospital that his best long-term chance of improving his quality of life was to have an above-knee amputation, which was carried out in March 2011.

Jane McBennett, of Morrish Solicitors, said: “Unfortunately the hospital never admitted their mistake and it was only as a result of these proceedings that the truth emerged.”

A Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said it was “deeply sorry” for the distress caused. “Unfortunately because of patient confidentiality we are unable to make further comment,” he added.

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