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 Post subject: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:45 am 
Eighteen months ago I had a hip replacement, and the relief was brilliant. No problems at all UNTIL:-

Seventeen days ago, with no warning, whilst I was walking in the garden, the prothesis suddenly and very painfully snapped, leaving me helpless on the ground and unable to move. The pompiers were very quickly on the scene and took me off to the local hospital (where the first operation had been performed), and where I received the most excellent treatment, including the fitting of a replacement prothesis. Being a replacement job, it was much more complex and very much more uncomfortable, and is likely to leave me somewhat less mobile and more "fragile" in future.

The surgeons told me that they had never before seen one of these protheses break and, for the moment, are assuming that it was due to a manufacturing failure, subject to their meeting with the manufacturer to discuss.

Now, if it was caused by a manufacturing fault, I am wondering if there is a possible claim for compensation, not primarily for myself (although that would be good) but more for my health insurer and the hospital, who have had considerable additional expense.

Has anyone else had a parallel experience and with what outcome?

Meantime, has anyone missed me over the past few weeks - no computer in the hospital? ... and don't look for too many postings for the next few weeks either, as sitting down at the keyboard is likely to be uncomfortable for some time to come.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:44 am 
Actually majic, with all that is happening in the soccer market, I thought you were bound to comment that it wouldn't have happened like that in your day (at Griffin Park) I did wonder where you had got to :lol:

Seriously though, I hope this awful occurrence will finally sort itself out and you are up and about as soon as possible and back to better health.

I am not sure what claim can be made and my guess is that only a French solicitor can really give you the correct info on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:45 pm 
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OUCH!!!!

Get well soon majic :(


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:59 am 
See an avocat, most give a bit of free time for an initial appointment that I have come across.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:30 am 
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Get well soon Majic :D I hope it isn't too uncomfortable.

As to any claim, make sure that someone has got the prosthesis safely under lock and key somewhere - it will have to be 'expertisé', i.e., examined by an independent expert appointed, I would guess, by your health insurer. Check your household/assurance juridique /other insurance for accident cover and make a claim on that too.

Balham's quite right, most avocats will advise without charge on an initial appointment. The trick is to get the insurer(s) to manage the claim and pay your avocat, so the more quickly you make a claim the better. The local Barreau (Bar) will give you the name of a specialist, failing which Pages Jaunes lists avocats according to area of work. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:43 am 
Commiserations, Majic, you must have been in terrible pain.
I don't know anything about French law, but my household insurance in France gave me a large amount of cover for legal costs.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:16 am 
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Hi!

Possibly you can get a compesenation if it proved that there is a material defect!

In any case.

- Advise the hospital where the operation was made, that tou would possibly be making a claim ( Registered letter with answer)

- When the hip is replaced, you need to get the parts.

- you will need to have these examined by a medical expert, unless a " réglemantation à l'amiable " is suggested and you are willing to accept it!

Unfortunately such procedures are usually rather lengthy!

Yours,

pomhorn


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:37 am 
If they are as lengthy as they are in the UK, prepare yourself for a six-year battle.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:23 am 
Thank you all for your very helpful replies.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:26 am 
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I was horrified to read about your experience, Majic. I had my second hip replacement last year and I know how long and hard the recovery was/is. It must've been so frightening - and painful. I had it drummed into me by the physios that I had to be so careful not to do anything to cause dislocation. Nothing about the prosthesis breaking. I'd say go for it! These manufacturers need to know that they have to be more careful when checking their products - and that people will not just put up with it when things go wrong.

Good luck with your recovery, and I'll be happy to offer any support I can.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:58 am 
Again, thanks for the recent replies.

To update you, I have spoken to my "mutuelle" and they are distinctly uninterested, much to my great surprise. They simply said that provided the CPAM accept and pay the charges, without query, then they, the top-up insurer, will simply pay out their bit! They were not interested in the possibility of recovering some or all of their additional costs.

Nonetheless, I have written to our local notaire today, outlining the situation and also emailed the surgeon, asking him to ensure that the prosthesis does not go missing - if I am not too late.

I must add that I would never contemplate taking action for compensation against a doctor who may have made a mistake, after all, we all do at some time in our lives, but when it is possibly a manufacturing defect .... Mind you, if my doctor chopped off my left arm when I had only expected treatment for an ingrowing toenail, I might think twice!


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:32 am 
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Majic - a notaire is not the equivalent of a solicitor, you need an avocat. Check your other insurances and if you have accident/injury cover (as you're bound to have), get in touch with those insurers and tell them you want to make a claim.

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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:11 am 
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majic wrote:
I must add that I would never contemplate taking action for compensation against a doctor who may have made a mistake, after all, we all do at some time in our lives, but when it is possibly a manufacturing defect ....


Sorry to hear of your plight Majic.

I am not sure of the logic of the above, a Doctor is allowed to make a mistake but a company is not. It seems a bit like it's Ok to sue a faceless organisation but not an individual. I agree we can all make mistakes, but we should all be accountable for them, individul or corporate.

Nevertheless I think compensation is due you and I wish you a speedy recovery and a good result.

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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:19 pm 
thelastoneout wrote:
majic wrote:
I must add that I would never contemplate taking action for compensation against a doctor who may have made a mistake, after all, we all do at some time in our lives, but when it is possibly a manufacturing defect ....


Sorry to hear of your plight Majic.

I am not sure of the logic of the above, a Doctor is allowed to make a mistake but a company is not. It seems a bit like it's Ok to sue a faceless organisation but not an individual. I agree we can all make mistakes, but we should all be accountable for them, individul or corporate.



If a doctor makes a (not too serious) error, any successful claim against him could be damaging for him both career wise and financially, whereas a faceless company would be better able to handle both consequences.

Majic - a notaire is not the equivalent of a solicitor, you need an avocat. Check your other insurances and if you have accident/injury cover (as you're bound to have), get in touch with those insurers and tell them you want to make a claim.

to MAD87. Yes you are, of course correct and I should have said avocat. Perhaps it was my brain and not my hip that needed corrective treatment - and unfortunately we have no insurance cover for personal injuries and the like, just car, household,
"valuabes", health and credit cards!


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:46 pm 
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Majic - having had a hip replacement myself (2006) I was very alarmed by your news. Like Abeille, I was warned constantly about the risk of dislocation, but not breakage of the prosthesis.
I would think the least you could claim for would be medical expenses not covered by CPAM and your mutuelle following your first op. and this one.
Be sure to get documentation from your surgeon about what has happened. I expect it could be in his interest also to sue the manufacturer.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:17 pm 
It seems that the surgeon is blameless in this case - he could hardly have known that the prothesis was faulty. Doctors do make mistakes and what is needed is a 'no-blame' method of compensating people who have suffered real injury through medical accidents. If the victim cannot work again and needs life-long care, there is no alternative at the moment but to make a claim for damages.
If you had been injured by a faulty electrical appliance, the manufacturer would be held liable, and I don't see why this case is any different. Apart from the additional medical costs for the replacement, you must have suffered a great deal of pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:43 am 
I contacted a specialist consultant surgeon in England about the problem of the broken prosthesis and have just received the following reply, which may be reassuring for those of you have have had the hip "job" in the recent past.

Thank you for your comments and for sharing with me the difficulty you have had with your first replacement. Fracture or breakage of the metal hip replacement has unfortunately been quite a common occurrence in the past. However as engineers and doctors obtained more experience, newer metals and designs were developed that drastically reduced the incidence of this complication. The improvements have been to such a degree that it is now almost unheard of to fracture a newly inserted implant.

That explains why your surgeon was surprised to see this mode of failure. He is right to convey the problem to the manufacturer who will be duty bound to investigate the issues so that the problem does not recur. Also they will consider whether or not they need to issue a global warning re the implant and whether or not to issue a recall. I am sure your surgeon will be aware of the relevant medical device safety regulators in France who he will need to inform too. I think you are right about being concerned about other patients encountering the same problem, but the above process should prevent that.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:14 pm 
Just to update anyone who kindly followed this thread earlier.

By chance I bumped in to the surgeon last week who carried out the first operation. He told me that the manufacturer of the prosthesis had reported to him that there were, unusually, "bubbles" in the titanium which had weakened it and almost certainly caused its fracture. I have asked him for a written report, but to date have received nothing.

Meantime, I had written separately to two different avocats to ask if I have a claim for compensation. Neither has replied!

As for the replacement replacement - unfortunately, the hip is still painful and three months on I still need crutches, there being no noticeable improvement over the last six weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:26 pm 
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Thanks for updating us majic and I'm really sorry that things haven't improved much for you.

I wonder if any other members could recommend some more names for you to contact, they don't need to be local to you.

All my best for a speedier recovery and a good outcome.

clare x


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:42 pm 
I am not a metallurgist, but surely these bubbles should have been detected by quality control. I can't believe that you don't have a very good claim for compensation.
On the general matter of medical (rather than manufacturer's) negligence, it is true that everybody can make mistakes, but there have been plenty of examples in the UK of the same surgeon or hospital department making the same mistake over and over again, with nobody blowing the whistle. I speak from bitter personal experience. If nobody complains, patients can and do die or become severely damaged.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:44 pm 
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So sorry to hear that you're still in pain, majic.
Why don't you make an appt. with an avocat to find out about the legal procedure and how much it would cost?


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:17 am 
Patf wrote:
So sorry to hear that you're still in pain, majic.
Why don't you make an appt. with an avocat to find out about the legal procedure and how much it would cost?


Thanks for that. In fact, as I mentioned above, I have written to two avocats, explaining the situation and asking for an appointment. Since neither has even acknowledged my letter I guess I shall have to beard the lions (pussy cats?) in their den.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:33 pm 
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Do you know where the broken prostesis is. As Mad87 says it is very important it does not 'get lost'.
Thinking of you and hoping that you will soon be on the med and out of this terrible pain. xx Swissie

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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Get in touch with the C.R.C.I. for your region, who should be able to set the ball rolling.

http://ufc-aix.org/fichier/Indemnisation-victimes-accidents-medicaux.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:59 pm 
Swissie. The prosthesis was returned by the hospital to the manufacturer for their analysis and report back. I Understand that is normal procedure here and in the UK, to enable the manufacturer to withdraw the batch or the product, if found to be faulty, to avoid others possibly being affected.

The surgeon has told me verbally that the report showed there to have been bubble(s) in the titanium which would have weakened it, but I have not yet received the requested report in writing. Meantime, not quite so painful today, and I have discarded one of my "cannes anglaises".

MAD87, I will check out that site immediately. Many thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:08 pm 
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Find it incredible that you got news of the report only by 'bumping' into the surgeon. Surely they should have sent you a copy. I would ask for an appointment with the surgeon for him to go through the report with you- or at least ask for a copy so you can pass it on to your sollicitor/avocat. Hope the pain is getting better. Are you getting any physio?

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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:57 pm 
Thanks Swissie. I have only today written to the surgeon to ask for a copy of the report. Watch this space!

Yes, I have been having physio, but it became so painful that the physiotherapist suggested that I stop for a while until my next scheduled appointment with the surgeon in just over one week from now.

I have read the pages kindly linked by mad87, but it would seem, that in France one either has to have suffered sone financial loss or become permanently (partially) disabled - after six months - before compensation can be claimed. Since I have had no real financial loss and hope that I don't fall in to the second category, this may be the end of the road. I think about it again after six months. :cry: :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:02 pm 
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If you have to have the faulty part replaced Majic, you will be disabled again.... :(

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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:25 pm 
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What a stupid law then .. giving carte blanche/immunity to the medical manufacturers and the medical profession! Clearly if the part was proven to be faulty then they must take responsibility. I have no idea how good your French is, but if you need help with writing letters, I am at your disposal. Bonne chance. Swissie

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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:49 pm 
Swissie wrote:
What a stupid law then .. giving carte blanche/immunity to the medical manufacturers and the medical profession! Clearly if the part was proven to be faulty then they must take responsibility. I have no idea how good your French is, but if you need help with writing letters, I am at your disposal. Bonne chance. Swissie


Je vous remercie beaucoup pour votre offre d'assistance Swissie, mais mon français, bien que pas parfait, c'est suffisant pour me permettre d'écrire des lettres. Dans l'intervalle, j'attends, avec optimisme, pour une copie du rapport du chirurgien.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:59 pm 
And I thought the English law was stacked against claimants! At least you can be awarded some damages for pain and suffering, though of course nothing like the amounts given in the USA.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:57 pm 
majic wrote:
Swissie wrote:
What a stupid law then .. giving carte blanche/immunity to the medical manufacturers and the medical profession! Clearly if the part was proven to be faulty then they must take responsibility. I have no idea how good your French is, but if you need help with writing letters, I am at your disposal. Bonne chance. Swissie


Je vous remercie beaucoup pour votre offre d'assistance Swissie, mais mon français, bien que pas parfait, c'est suffisant pour me permettre d'écrire des lettres. Dans l'intervalle, j'attends, avec optimisme, pour une copie du rapport du chirurgien.


You don't 'attends POUR' !!
It takes a direct object!!!!!!!!! :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:59 pm 
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Oh là là Basher - tu ne serais pa un peu pédant sur les bords! :D Bravo Magic (mais il a raison bien sur, pour UNE fois) :lol

(oui, je sais, il devrait y avoir un circonflexe sur le 'u')

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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:23 pm 
Vous êtes correct Flanquer, bien sûr. Je pensais en anglais et pas en français et j'ai manqué d'observer ma propre erreur.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I have a claim for compensation?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:46 pm 
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Magic, how are you getting on? Please send some news. xx Swissie

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