Medical negligence case against Devon hospital succeeds despite client’s previous solicitors advising she would lose

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Client wins medical negligence case after previous solicitors said she had no case


Medical negligence is a highly specialised area of law. It is therefore vital that you seek help from genuine specialists, or you could miss out. Call our free medical negligence helpline for a case assessment or a second opinion on 0808 139 1606 or send an email to us at [email protected]


We have recently concluded a successful medical negligence case against the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital after our client’s previous solicitors advised her that she didn’t have a case.

Our client was doing some household chores when she fell from a ladder. She caught her shoulder on the corner of a door frame as she fell. 

She was taken to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital by ambulance and was sent for cervical spine imaging to rule out any spinal injury.  She was advised that she had fractured her calcaneal and humerus.  

Arrangements were made for her to undergo physiotherapy. The physiotherapist noted that she had a very week rotator cuff. Nevertheless she continued to attend physiotherapy sessions without obtaining any improvement to her shoulder. The physiotherapist eventually wrote to our client’s GP advising that while her pain had improved, “her active range of movement remains severely limited and is not really progressing and I wonder if she has some rotator cuff muscle damage.

Our client was seen in the fracture clinic and the consultant orthopaedic surgeon noted, “she has got no strength in her shoulder…I have suggested we arrange an MRI.

The scan results showed that the rotator cuff had indeed been damaged. However due to the delay in the diagnosis surgery was no longer an option.

She was understandably upset that these delays had resulted in her condition being made worse. She therefore decided to take legal advice.

She initially consulted solicitors appointed through her legal expenses insurance. However, they concluded that her proposed medical negligence case was without good prospects of success and they advised her not to proceed.

Many people might have left matters there, but fortunately our client was more tenacious. She was convinced she had a valid claim and decided to seek a second opinion. She rang our dedicated medical negligence helpline and was given a free case assessment by our specialist medical negligence team.

We felt the previous solicitor’s assessment was incorrect and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital had been negligent in failing to diagnose her rotator cuff tear. We therefore agreed to take the medical negligence case on, offering to fund the claim on a no win, no fee basis.

We obtained supportive expert medical evidence from an orthopaedic surgeon, an anaesthetist and a cardiologist. Expert evidence plays a crucial role in any successful medical negligence claim and without supporting experts such claims rarely succeed.

Although the expert evidence confirmed that the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital had been negligent, the NHS Litigation Authority nevertheless continued to defend the claim. However, our belief in the merits of the case was not diminished and we therefore issued court proceedings.

By commencing court proceedings the defendants were able to see that we were serious about pursuing the case and this led to an out of court compensation settlement being reached.

If you require a second opinion on a medical negligence case then give us a call on freephone 0808 139 1606 or email us at [email protected]