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Health Negligence claim against Spanish Health Authority

A patient who suffered continuing problems with a broken leg that was treated by a hospital managed by the Andalucian Health Authority (Servicio Andaluz de Salud) has won his health negligence claim for €100,000 in damages as a result of negligence in treating his injury.

His claim was originally not recognised given that the claim lapsed and was not responded to within the prescribed period of time by the Andalucian Health Board.

However, the matter was taken to the local courts where the claim was accepted and the damages awarded.

The claimant, who was a bricklayer by trade, had originally broken his leg in 2005.

He was taken to the local hospital where he was treated, however, several months later, the bone had still failed to heal.

Despite this, the treatment was not modified. In September the following year, an orthopaedic specialist had no alternative but to recommend that the claimant’s left leg be amputated as a result of the continued deterioration in it’s condition.

Health Negligence claim result: Inappropriate Treatment

The Health Authority defended the treatment provided by stating that the leg was immobilised as is the standard and appropriate treatment and which avoided the necessity of surgery and the risks that this would engender.

In the course of the court’s judgment, the judge referred to a private report commissioned by the claimant in which a doctor specialised in the field stated that both the technique and positioning of the plaster-cast were inadequate as they did not achieve the fundamental objective of such treatment which was the  fusing of the broken bone.

In the court’s view the duration of the treatment had been excessive  (502 days) and had resulted finally in the inability to work in his chosen career.

While accepting that medical treatment does not always result in a favourable outcome, but in this case it was not just an unfavourable outcome that had been demonstrated, but also inappropriate treatment.

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1Who is this Service for?

Negligence claims arise in a wide-range of scenarios in modern law.

In general a negligence claim will arise where loss, damage or injury has been suffered as a result of an action – or failure to act – by another party (individual, company, local authority etc.) that owe a duty of care towards the person who has suffered the loss, damage or injury.

Scenarios of where this arises include unsatisfactory results of medical procedures and operations and personal injuries sustained due to a fall upon failure of the owner of premises to take sufficient precautions to avoid such an outcome.

2What does this service consist of?

  • Initial assessment by a specialist lawyer of the circumstances of the case to determine if a duty of care was owed and if an action for damages may be taken
  • Undertake negotiations with the negligent party and/or their legal representatives
  • Agree an amicable resolution with the payment of damages or initiate legal proceedings
  • Assist with creating a local medical report to increase possibilities of a successful outcome
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