Case Study Fifteen: Dino Skinner – Failure to recognise condition leads to compensation payout

21st January 2016 by

Claimant involved in a road traffic accident sustaining a lower back injury. The impact had been relatively minor. Claimant’s initial attendance upon GP resulted in diagnosis of a “whiplash injury to the back”.

The symptoms became progressively worse and the claimant was then admitted to hospital approximately three weeks following the accident. The claimant was subsequently diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome, undergoing spinal decompressive surgery.

The claimant was left with limb weakness, impaired mobility, chronic lower back and pelvic pain and bladder and bowel dysfunction. The claim was initially pursued against RTA insurers. However, expert evidence indicated that the condition was not as a result of the road traffic accident and was only coincidental. However, the hospital was negligent in failing to recognise signs of cauda equina syndrome, and treat the condition promptly, which lead to an adverse outcome.

The outcome of the case

Liability and causation was disputed. There was complexity in relation to the issues of causation – whether the delay would have resulted in a different outcome and the extent of the resulting adversity. Following the issuing of proceedings Dino Skinner was able to negotiate settlement.

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