Discharged Army soldier wins damages for surgical error15 December 2006
A former soldier who suffered a career-ending injury during surgery has been awarded £190,000 compensation for the injury, loss of earnings and earnings capacity, and loss of pension, after being discharged from the Army.
In February 1999, John Thompson, 33, of Chopwell, Newcastle Upon Tyne, suffered a dislocation of his left shoulder whilst playing rugby for the Army. He continued to suffer with pains to his shoulder and in January 2001 underwent surgery, performed by Army Surgeon, Commander Hill.
During the course of the surgery Mr Thompson’s biceps tendon was accidentally divided. As a result he had ongoing problems with his shoulder which required further surgery. Mr Thompson’s situation did not improve and in May 2003 he was medically discharged from the Army because of a permanent disability to his left shoulder.
At the time of Mr Thompson's discharge from the Army he was a Signals Sergeant and was considered to have a bright future with clear potential to Staff Sergeant and beyond, due to his outstanding record. He was described as “proactive, knowledgeable and invariably flexible”.
Supported by the Royal British Legion (RBL), he received £190,000 in damages to include a future loss of earning capacity as he will never be in a position to fulfil his full earnings capacity. The RBL instructed Thompsons Solicitors to take up the case.
Representing Mr Thompson, specialist clinical negligence solicitor Kashmir Uppal of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Mr Thompson was a young man with a very promising career ahead of him. As a result of a clinical error which should not have happened, he had it all taken away from him.”
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