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Royal Navy Mechanic Medically Discharged Gets £175,000 Compensation

01 October 2013

Clinical & Medical Negligence Associate Solicitor Nina Sahu recently secured £175,000 compensation for a 38 year-old former naval aircraft engineer mechanic (AEM), who was discharged from the Navy in 2005.

Nina's client joined the Navy aged 18 and his career was progressing well until he developed pain in his lower leg. He was initially diagnosed with shin splints and advised to rest. He followed orders and the pain transferred to the back of his shins, making it difficult for him to continue active duty. He was medically downgraded in May 2004 and his Navy GP referred him to a Birmingham NHS Trust for specialist orthopaedic advice.

Over the next 12 months he underwent repeated courses of conservative treatment, consisting of insoles/physiotherapy/plaster casts – none of which helped. Whilst the correct diagnosis of inflammation of his tendon was made, no one mentioned the possibility of surgery and there seemed to be no solution that would get him back to active duty. After 12 months of no improvement, he was referred to the Medical Board and unfortunately, in July 2005 he was medically discharged.

In 2010 my client sought further advice and was surprised to be told that corrective surgery would fix his problem. He underwent surgery in 2011 and this was successful in treating the pain allowing him to enjoy running and playing football again. He was however dismayed that he had lost a Naval career on the basis of inadequate medical treatment.

A medical expert confirmed that surgery should have been offered after a few months of unsuccessful conservative treatment, meaning that my client would have avoided the Medical Board or at the very least would have had surgery by the time of the Medical Board. The Defendant Trust denied responsibility for the discharge from the Navy but after lengthy negotiations, they agreed to pay the sum of £175,000 in compensation.

Thankfully, my client has recovered physically very well and now has a successful career working for a large engineering company that allows him to still travel abroad. The majority of the settlement reflects his past loss of earnings and his future loss of pension. It will also hopefully, give him and his young family some security for the future – something he lost when he was discharged from the Navy due to negligent medical treatment.

Nina Sahu is an Associate Clinical & Medical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Liverpool.

For a free consultation call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online.