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£375K compensation payout for CRPS sufferer who was injured at work

Solicitor, Steven Akerman, of Brian Barr Solicitors and Marcus Grant, of Temple Garden Chambers, act for CRPS sufferer.

 

Ms Barnett was involved in a slipping accident at work on 25th October 2012. At the time, she was a 39-year-old Support Worker. After slipping on a spillage of water near a fridge on the floor of the kitchen of an elderly care home, Ms Barnett jarred and twisted her left knee.

As a result of the initial injury, she experienced pain and swelling in her knee, which became progressively more uncomfortable.

She was advised to undergo an arthroscopy on the knee to debride loose cartilage. It was anticipated that she would make a good recovery from the surgery and return to work after just 10 days. Unfortunately, she developed a complication following the surgery in the form of a burning neuropathic pain. This subsequently developed into full-blown Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which then migrated to other parts of the body. Since her CRPS diagnosis, Ms Barnett has been unable to work and has become significantly incapacitated by the pain. She has also developed a depressive illness as a result of her physical injuries.

Ms Barnett had a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted into her lumbar and cervical spine in an attempt to ameliorate the pain. Although it has given her slight pain relief, she remains incapacitated by her symptoms.

As a result, Ms Barnett was still unable to work and relied on family and friends for help with care and assistance in carrying out specific tasks, such as cleaning, cooking, shopping etc.

Medical evidence was obtained to support the fact that the CRPS was attributable to the arthroscopy that took place following the accident. It was acknowledged that such a complication is always a small risk of that procedure. However, the medical evidence also noted that this accident brought forward the need for surgery by 12 months. This means that, if the accident had not occurred, the surgery would have taken place at another time. Had this been the case, the CRPS would have been unlikely to develop, as the risk of such a complication is so small.

However, this was far from a straightforward matter. Ms Barnett had a history of right knee pain and previous arthroscopies. The Defendant argued that the initial accident was so minor that it did not affect Ms Barnett’s overall condition and the surgery would have been required on the same exact day in any event.

Therefore, the Defendant argued that they were not responsible for the development of CRPS and its effects on Ms Barnett’s life. On this analysis, Ms Barnett’s compensation claim had a value of less than £10,000.

Thankfully, Ms Barnett was able to instruct specialist CRPS solicitor, Steven Akerman, from Brian Barr Solicitors and Marcus Grant Counsel from Temple Garden Chambers, who were able to secure a very advantageous settlement for Ms Barnett. These funds should hopefully assist Ms Barnett in coping with her condition as best as possible, although no amount of money can replace her loss of good health.

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