Case studies

Successful claim against hospital for preventable bowel perforation


We recently secured £35,000 compensation in an out-of-court settlement for a client who suffered a bowel perforation that could have been prevented.

Our client was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich with suspected appendicitis. During surgery to remove his appendix, it transpired that his symptoms were actually caused by an inflamed small bowel, indicative of Crohn’s disease. Rather than removing the inflamed section of bowel, the surgeon decided to put our client on medication for Crohn’s disease. Our client was discharged from hospital but was readmitted the following day with severe abdominal pain and vomiting.

It transpired that his bowel had perforated causing extensive peritonitis. He required surgery to repair the damage and had to be fitted with a colostomy bag. He remained in hospital for a month and was unable to work for over a year.

We obtained independent evidence from an expert in surgery who supported a claim against the hospital. The case was funded with a conditional fee agreement (ie on a no win no fee basis) and we served court proceedings on the defendant hospital trust (South London Healthcare NHS Trust) setting out the failures in their care. We advised our client to accept the sensible offer to settle that they made two months later.


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Penningtons Manches LLP

Penningtons Manches LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. San Francisco is an associated office.

Penningtons Manches LLP