Time running out for ankle replacement compensation

The AES ankle replacement was used extensively in Leeds.   Unfortunately, it had a high failure rate and was withdrawn by the manufacturer.  Pryers Solicitors are bringing claims for compensation against the manufacturer.

The AES (ankle evolutive system) was made by a French company, Transystème, and distributed by Biomet, one of the world’s largest orthopaedic companies.  After some initially good reports, surgeons throughout Europe began raising concerns about the device.

The problem

Their concern was that the device gave rise to a much higher than expected rate of osteolysis, which is a process by which the bone around the device becomes soft and disintegrates, leading to the development of large holes or cysts.  The components then become loose, requiring surgery to remove the metalwork, fill the holes and fuse the ankle, leaving it very stiff and often shorter than the other side.  In the most severe cases, the bone can collapse suddenly, causing enormous damage.


Use of the device in the UK stopped in 2008 but those patients with the AES were not informed of the concerns.  In July 2012, the UK medical product regulator, the MHRA, issued a warning to all hospitals in England and Wales, telling them of the risk posed by the AES and advising them to recall all their AES patients.  Since then, all patients should have been reviewed regularly to ensure that, if further treatment is required, it is offered as early as possible.  This is particularly important as the bone damage often causes no symptoms until a very late stage.

Pryers’ investigations

Pryers Solicitors of York act for a group of patients who have suffered the early failure of the AES and have been investigating the device for more than two years.  Pryers have evidence from some of the world’s leading experts in ankle surgery and are now confident of establishing that the AES is defective and that the manufacturer should have discovered the problems at a much earlier stage.

Time limits

In legal cases concerning defective products, a claim must be registered with the court within 10 years of the date on which the device was supplied by the manufacturing company.  In many cases, this is more than a year before it is supplied to the patient.  The claim must also be registered within three years of the date on which the patient first suspected that the device had failed.

Unfortunately, some AES claims are already out of time, but others will be very close to their time limit.  Therefore, if you have received an AES ankle replacement and might wish to take legal action at some point in the future, we urge you to contact Pryers Solicitors as soon as possible to ensure your position is protected.

If you have suffered problems with an AES ankle replacement, please contact Richard Starkie or a member of his team on 0800 316 0166 or by email at


Pryers 3 Peaks Challenge

A team of 22 Pryers staff, family and friends are setting off on the Yorkshire 3 Peak Challenge on Saturday 16th August  to raise funds to buy urgently needed equipment for Lucy who is known to one of our Partners. Here is a little background info for you:

Lucy’s Story

Lucy suffered a severe stroke when she was only 20 years old. She was left with hemiplegia and brain damage. She is severely restricted by her disability and lack of mobility, which has had a huge impact on her family, not least her 7 year old daughter.

Lucy is no longer able to work as a beauty therapist as planned. She is trapped in her unsuitable home with stairs that are unsafe for her to use. She is supported by her family and friends, but cannot afford to purchase equipment, mobility aids, or additional therapies or support to improve her level of function or quality of life.

Pryers Solicitors wish to fundraise for Lucy, to buy for her much needed equipment. We would like to raise money to purchase a bespoke stairlift and/or a mobility scooter, both of which would directly improve her safety in her home and her ability to mobilise.

In order to do so, a team at Pryers are taking on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge to  raise money for this purpose. The challenge is no mean feat, and the team have been in training in order to complete it!

Pryers have acted for many victims of strokes, and are sympathetic to the debilitating effect this can have on the individuals and their family. Having worked closely with stroke sufferers, we are acutely aware of the benefit
of specific aids or equipment, such as we are
hoping to buy for Lucy.

Please see our facebook page Pryers Solicitors LLP or our twitter feed PryersMarieB for updates on the team’s progress and training.

Any generous sponsorship and support for this worthy cause is very much appreciated!

You can donate quickly and easily using our fundraising page here:

Daughter inspired to become a lawyer after mum’s clinical negligence fight

Kendyl Moore with her mum Nicola Richardson


A daughter who became a carer for her mum after a medical procedure went horribly wrong is now helping others fight for their rights as she sets out to train as a clinical-negligence lawyer.

Kendyl Moore, 22, has been caring for her mum Nicola Richardson, 49, since she was left with irreversible damage in her neck, arm and hand when a doctor damaged a nerve while giving her an injection for back pain in 2003.

She was so inspired by her mum’s successful fight for compensation that she decided that she wanted to become a clinical-negligence solicitor and went to university to study law.

Kendyl, who carried out her studies at the University of Huddersfield while still caring for her mother at home in Oldham, graduated with a first-class honours degree.

She went on to complete her Master of Law and Practice qualification and has now secured a legal training contract with Pearsons Solicitors in Ashton-under-Lyne.

Kendyl, from Shaw, said: “What happened to my mum has affected her in so many ways. It has changed her life completely. It certainly made my mind up to go into practicing clinical negligence.

“What happened has helped me to understand how such traumatic life changing incidents affect people emotionally too. I know mum is really proud that I chose to stick with it.”

Kendyl’s mother has permanent problems down the right side of her arm and neck since the needle hit a nerve during the procedure more than a decade ago.

Her solicitors reached an out of court settlement in 2008. Kendyl originally wanted to join the police but changed her career choice after experiencing her mum’s compensation battle.

She has now achieved her goal despite spending nearly 20 hours a week caring for her mother and holding down a part-time job.

While studying for her degree, she was regularly awake at 3am to speak by phone to her boyfriend, Daniel, who was serving as a soldier in Afghanistan.

Kendyl now hopes to use her degree to help others fight medical-negligence claims.

Kendyl’s mum Nicola Richardson said: “I’m extremely proud of Kendyl. She had an awful lot going on while she was studying. She’s just a very focused girl and nothing was going to stop her.

“She was determined that, after what happened to me, she wanted to go into clinical negligence to help other people.”


Possible legal action over Thomas Smith’s meningitis death

Thomas Smith


“It is clear that the paediatric team at the Prince Charles Hospital were not working effectively to ensure treatment was commenced as early as possible.”
- Statement from Thomas Smith’s family

The family of a schoolboy who died from meningitis say they are considering legal action against the hospital, which delayed giving him antibiotics.

Thomas Smith, from Hednesford, was on holiday when he was admitted to Prince Charles Hospital, in Merthyr Tydfil, with six meningitis symptoms.

An inquest found the hospital made “gross failures” when doctors failed to start him on antibiotics for more than four hours.

He died on his 13th birthday last year.

Thomas’s parents Andrew and Emma Smith said their son had been “let down” by doctors at the hospital.

A statement issued through their solicitor Lawyer Zak Golombeck said: “The coroner found that there were numerous gross failures in the care afforded to Thomas.

“As such the coroner has decided to write a report to the chief coroner and the health board to ensure that future deaths do not occur in these circumstances.

Hospital criticised

“It is clear that the paediatric team at the Prince Charles Hospital were not working effectively to ensure treatment was commenced as early as possible.

“In essence, they let Thomas down.”

Mr Golombeck said he was advising the family with regard to legal action.

Coroner Christopher Woolley criticised the hospital for failing the schoolboy in their duty of care and ordered a report to prevent similar deaths taking place at Prince Charles Hospital.

Thomas, of Hednesford, near Birmingham, was referred to the hospital by an out-of-hours GP when he fell ill in May 2013.

He was seen by Dr Kwong-Tou Yip and consultant paediatrician Dr Ezzat Afifi who both gave him paracetamol.

Four hours later he was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis and was eventually given antibiotics.

He later fell into a coma and was transferred to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff but never recovered.

On Tuesday, chief executive of Cwm Taf University Health Board, Allison Williams, said the health board would consider the coroner’s findings and continue to implement the changes required to address any failings in service.

NHS blunders led to Devon toddler’s death

Sam Morrish

A string of blunders by NHS workers led to the death of a three-year-old Devon boy, a review has found.

Sam Morrish died in December 2010 from a treatable condition because four health service organisations made mistakes, the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) said.

He died of severe sepsis after a “catalogue of errors”.

Sam’s parents also said they had “serious concerns about the competence and accountability” of the ombudsman.

Ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor said that had Sam received the appropriate care, he would still be alive today.

Cricketfield GP Surgery, NHS Direct, Devon Doctors Ltd and South Devon NHS Trust were all criticised.

Failures included inadequate assessment of the toddler, not recognising that he was vomiting blood and a three-hour delay before he received antibiotics at hospital.

‘Factual errors’

His family said as well as losing their son, they feel they have been “failed” by the NHS complaints system.

In a statement released through the Patients Association, they also criticised the ombudsman.

“The astonishing length of time it has taken for PHSO to finalise this report has inescapably prolonged our distress.

“Although we are grateful that the PHSO has upheld our complaints… we are left with serious concerns about the competence, capability and accountability of the PHSO itself.”

Sam’s mother Susannah Morrish said: “The report looks the way it does because of our constant intervention.

“The fact there had to be two draft reports, both of which looked radically different to this final report, says something.

“Our involvement included providing information, pointing out omissions, correcting factual errors.

“Our thoughts were if we didn’t do this, who would?”

Sam’s father Scott Morrish said: “The thing that we’re still trying to push for is, we’re not clear who the ombudsman is accountable to, we’re not clear who really understands what happens behind the scenes there, and we’re not entirely sure that Parliament is actually able to look at anything more than what comes out in the report.”

Dame Julie said: “I accept that the family are right that the investigation method used in this case was not adequate to the complexity of the case.

“I really recognise that this contributed to the family’s distress and we have apologised for that and thanked the family for their feedback on the particular method we used in this case, because we are developing new investigation methods.”

Dame Julie said that Sam’s devastated family suffered “further injustice” because health officials failed to properly investigate the youngster’s death.

“But this case has to be looked at in the context of taking on over 4,000 cases to investigate every year, and receiving very few complaints about the quality of our decision making.

“When we do, we treat it like gold dust to help us improve our service.

“We’ve published this case so that the wider NHS learns from Sam’s death,” she added.

NHS England was ordered to pay £20,000 to the family.

Mr Morrish said: “The irony is we never wanted to lodge a formal complaint.

“We only did because we were advised to by the Patients Association in response to the NHS completely getting it wrong, not once, but twice.

“We didn’t want it to be about blame, we wanted it to result in good learning.”


Pryers Solicitors LLP is one of the first to use new, free text message service to raise funds

Pryers team the ‘Pryers Ladies’  will be amongst the first in the country to use its own, unique personalised text code, PRYE55 to raise funds using JustTextGiving.

This is a brand new, free service for charities, and fundraisers that has no set up or fundraising costs for charities, no network charges for people making donations and every penny donated goes to charity.  Gift Aid can also be added to donations.

From today, supporters of Pryers Ladies can make donations of up to £10 by texting PRYE55 and either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 to 70070 to make their donation.  The text message is free and all of the donation will be passed to Cancer Research UK.

Marie Brasnett-Mellor from Pryers said: “This is a wonderful way for us to raise money as it’s speedy, simple and spontaneous.  Most people have a mobile phone these days so we expect this to be very popular with our supporters.”

For further information contact Marie Brasnett-Mellor at Pryers on 01904 556600 or

For further information about JustTextGiving by Vodafone please visit

New laws to stop claims firms giving away tablet PCs

crashed car

Lawyers and claims firms are to be banned from offering incentives such as free tablet computers to encourage people to make insurance claims

Courts will also be given powers to refuse compensation for claimants who have been dishonest.

The measures, announced by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), are among several aimed at reducing insurance fraud.

Justice secretary Chris Grayling has warned insurance companies he expects the reforms to lead to lower premiums.

The MoJ is promising to legislate for the changes before the end of the current Parliament in May 2015.

If the plans become law, claims firms will no longer be able to offer potential clients free gifts, such as tablet computers, or cash.

‘Compensation culture’

x-ray of neck

At least one firm in the UK advertises a “free iPad” to clients whose claim is successful.

Another offers “an upfront cash advance of £2,000″ if the party at fault admits full liability.

The news was welcomed by insurance industry body the Association of British Insurers.

“We applaud the decision to ban the distasteful advertising which offers cash or other inducements for personal injury claims,” said the body’s director general, Otto Thoresen.

“This only serves to reinforce to unscrupulous claimants that there is a compensation culture to exploit.”


At the moment, courts can decide to pay some compensation to clients for their injuries, even though they may have exaggerated them.

Under the proposed changes, courts would be required to block all such compensation, if the claimant had been shown to be fundamentally dishonest.

The courts would only have discretion over this in cases where “substantial injustice” would otherwise be caused.

The government says the changes will help cut the cost of motor insurance in particular.

Justice secretary Chris Grayling


Mr Grayling told BBC Breakfast: “These measures are designed to drive down on the cost of motor insurance.

“I’ve got a clear message to insurance companies – I expect to see those reforms converted into lower premiums for motorists…. I’m doing my bit – I expect them to do their bit.”

Last week, figures showed that fraud in the insurance industry was running at a record £1.3bn a year and costs every householder £50 a year on their premiums.

Rules on whiplash claims are also due to come into force this autumn.

From October, new independent medical boards will assess such claims, to tighten up on people who claim for false whiplash injuries.


Wigan hospital not to blame for baby death

Luke Weaving-Shorrocks aged two months

A hospital has been absolved of any blame after a baby was born with brain damage in a “horrific” delivery.

Luke Weaving-Shorrocks suffered the injuries after becoming stuck during birth at Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary on 17 May 2011.

An inquest at Bolton Coroners Court heard the baby was delivered by caesarean section but died of a cardiac arrest in August that year.

Solicitors for the family say they are now considering legal action.

The court was told how Luke’s head had become stuck in his mother Victoria Weaving-Shorrocks’ pelvis during labour, and two attempts to deliver Luke by suction failed.

He was eventually delivered by a caesarean section, but suffered multiple fractures and brain damage.

‘Prompt treatment’

The baby was treated at Hope Hospital for three weeks then returned to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary for another two weeks before being discharged.

He died on 14 August 2011 after going into cardiac arrest, despite the efforts of his father and paramedics, who managed to resuscitate him at first.

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Kevin McLaughlin said: “Prompt treatment was provided by his father, paramedics and paediatric clinicians after his arrival at hospital.

“This initially succeeded in resuscitating him, but Luke later suffered further cardiac arrests and died in the arms of his parents.”

Mrs Weaving-Shorrocks, 33, from Wigan, had earlier told the court how the “absolute joy” of having her first baby turned into a “horrific ordeal”.

A statement from Linder Myers Solicitors, representing the family, said if the warning signs had been spotted earlier, he “would have been born healthy”. They will be pursuing a claim of medical negligence against the Trust.

A statement from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust extended “sincere sympathies” to the family.


Devon councils pay out £2.5m in injury compensation

Two Devon councils have paid out about £2.5m over four years to compensate people for personal injury after incidents such as tripping on pavements.

Plymouth City Council paid out about £2.1m and Torbay Council £400,000 between 2010 and 2013, replies to a BBC freedom of information request showed.

The highest single payout for either unitary council was £105,000.

Devon County Council refused to respond to the information request.

Harbour fall

In Plymouth, the total paid out ranged from £638,000 for 79 claims in 2011 to £301,000 for 68 claims in 2012.

Plymouth’s largest payout was in 2010, compensating someone £105,000 for a back injury sustained as a result of a “footway surface defect”.

The council said it only paid out if it was liable and that only three out of 10 claims were successful.

In Torbay, payout totals ranged from £83,000 in 2010 for 21 claims, to about £118,000 for 15 claims in 2011.

‘Compensation culture myth’

Torbay Council said one of its highest payouts was £37,000 to someone who fell into a harbour in Torbay in 2011, injuring their back and neck

James Browne, from Stones Solicitors in Exeter, said: “If a local authority has behaved reasonably and can show it then the injured person will not get a payout.

“I think it’s a myth that there is a compensation culture. I haven’t noticed any huge increase in the number of claims coming through.”

Devon County Council said it did not respond to the request because collating the information would take up too much of its officers’ time.

Cornwall Council paid out about £800,000, and Dorset County Council £133,000 between 2010 and 2013.

The Local Government Association said it could not comment on the figures because it did not collect statistics.


Southampton Hip Claim Time Limit

Deadline Approaches for Metal-on-Metal Hip Claims

Pryers Solicitors currently act for a large group of Southampton patients who have suffered the early failure of metal-on-metal total hip replacement devices.

Metal-on-metal hip replacements have all performed quite poorly, certainly worse than expected and worse than the older products they were intended to outlast.  Not only have they failed earlier, but the way in which they have failed has been particularly damaging.

In many cases, the junction between the metal head and the stem suffers from excessive wear.  In other cases, the metal stem corrodes.  Both processes lead to the release of metal debris into the surrounding muscle and bone causing damage and death of those tissues.  Metal debris is also released into the patient’s blood.  As a result, many patients have had to undergo surgery for the removal of the hip device, which often results in permanent disability and the need for yet more surgery.

The Southampton hip

A particular hip replacement device used in Southampton has a failure rate many times higher than the national average.  One paper has reported a failure rate of 15% at 5 years.  We believe that failure rate to be almost twice that at 8 years.  In contrast, the National Joint Registry provides, for hip replacements generally, a 5 year failure rate of 2.75% and an 8 year failure rate of 4.5%.

Southampton Hip

Time limits

Claims are being brought against the producer under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.  Under this law, there are two separate time limits.  Firstly, cases must be started within three years of the date on which the patient first suspected that they had suffered injury due to a defective medical product.  However, the case must also be started within 10 years of the supply of the product, regardless of when the patient received it or when it failed.

If the claim is not started within this time limit, then the case will be out of time.

The Southampton hips were first used in 2003 and so a few will be already out of time.

Therefore, if you have been fitted with a metal-on-metal hip replacement in Southampton and it has failed or is failing, we urge you to contact Pryers solicitors as soon as possible.  By taking some simple steps, we can ensure that your case is protected from the expiry of this time limit.

Most of Pryers’ clients’ claims are funded by conditional fee agreements (“no win no fee”), under which no legal costs are payable if the claim is unsuccessful.  Legal costs are only payable if the case is successful and, in that situation, the majority of the costs are paid by the defendant.

Please contact Pryers by email at; by telephone on 0800 316 0166; or through our website

This does not concern metal-on-metal hip resurfacings.