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"Thin" claim dismissed by Court

  • Legal Development 27 September 2019 27 September 2019
  • UK & Europe

  • Healthcare

"Thin" claim dismissed by Court

There has been further trial success for the Clyde & Co healthcare team!

The claimant, DB, alleged that she was not warned of the risks of having thin nasal skin prior to rhinoplasty, that the surgery was performed incompetently and that she was subsequently subjected to an unusual technique to try to shave a small cartilaginous bump.  As a consequence, the patient maintained that she was left with changes to the pigment of her skin, which she says caused her ongoing social anxiety.  It was DB’s case that the surgeon had accepted that the complications she experienced were as a result of her nasal skin being too thin such that damage was caused to the underlying tissues and vessels.

While it was possible to agree quantum subject to liability, the allegations were firmly denied by the surgeon, Mr P.  The crux of the case was whether the trial judge preferred the factual evidence of DB or of Mr P.  A further issue was whether the rasping procedure, which was novel and had not been used by either expert, was unreasonable.

Following a three-day trial in Guildford County Court, Her Honour Judge Evans-Gordon handed down judgement on 26 September 2019.  The judgement is a complete vindication of the surgeon, whose recollection and evidence was accepted entirely.  DB’s expert conceded in evidence that the rasping was not unreasonable even if not known to him. While DB clearly believed that her skin was thin, that was neither established by the evidence nor the cause of any pigment changes.

The claim has been dismissed, and the actions of a reputable and experienced surgeon have been upheld.


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