Amputee wins £1m in hospital damages

by CRAIG ROBINSON

Last updated: 30/06/2009 06:00:00

A WOMAN who lost her leg in what should have been a routine knee operation has won more than £1million in compensation.

Karen Flory has been left significantly disabled and continues to experience pain in the affected leg as well as phantom limb pains.

Ipswich Hospital admitted responsibility in 2008 and the last few months have been spent thrashing out an appropriate settlement.

Ms Flory, who was 37 at the time, was admitted to Heath Road in February 2007 for the removal of inflamed tissue on her right knee.

But problems in managing the blood circulation during surgery forced doctors to amputate her leg above the knee.

The practical implications of her injury mean that she is unable to return to her previous employment.

Ms Flory, of Foxhall Road, Ipswich, said: “Money can never compensate for the loss of a limb, but it can make it easier to overcome the practical issues.

“The size of the settlement reflects the fact that I am not yet 40 and the whole of the rest of my life has been irrevocably changed by the amputation.

“Just as important as the money, however, is the hospital’s acknowledgment that errors were made. I am only disappointed that they didn’t feel able to be more forthcoming when I made my initial complaint and that the threat of proceedings was necessary to obtain an admission.

“I felt very let down. Despite the fact that an internal investigation was carried out at the time I still haven’t had the benefit of a meeting to discuss this or been advised what steps are being taken to try to ensure that no one else falls victim to the same mistakes.”

Ms Flory’s claim was brought by Tom Cook, a clinical negligence specialist at Kester Cunningham John Solicitors.

He said: “The settlement takes account of many factors including her reduced long-term mobility; the treatment and care she may require as she gets older; and her need to find a new source of employment as well, of course, as compensation for the injury itself.”

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said the trust had apologised to Ms Flory and made an offer of a settlement within a month of receiving her claim.

“The trust is pleased the matter has been settled very quickly and wishes Ms Flory well for the future,” she added.

(Thanks to Steve McNeice for sending this article)

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