The court's verdict was that there was medical negligence, due to which the plaintiff suffered an everlasting serious bodily injury but did not award damages for future wage loss.
The case concerned a young man-the plaintiff who underwent two surgeries because he had suffered internal bleeding hemorrhoids. In 2007 the man visited the doctor-defendant, who advised him that he should undergo hemorrhoidectomy surgery. The doctor-defendant informed him, that he would perform a cauterization of vessels with diathermy, while he did not mention that there was an increased risk of stenosis due to the severity of his condition. Postoperatively, the man suffered from severe pains, while threads were found at the site of the surgery.
In 2008 and while the man’s health issue was not cured, following a second medical opinion, he underwent an angioplasty surgery by Dr. I. The man had an incontinence problem, after the second surgery. After performing an intra-articular ultrasound, it was found that the anatomy of the anus was completely disturbed, that the internal sphincter was completely absent, and the external sphincter had a deficit of 70%.
Following these events, the man launched proceedings against the defendant, alleging negligent medical treatment.
Bolam and Bolitho cases have been recognized as the leading authorities regarding medical negligence, which were adopted by the Supreme Court in Αθηνά Βαριάνου ν. Δρ. Ανδρέα Π. Βορκά (2010) 1 Α.Α.Δ. 1541. In Bolitho has been held that “"Ιt is not enough for the defendant to call several doctors to say that what he had done or not was in accord with accepted clinical practice. It is necessary for the judge to consider that evidence and decide whether that clinical practice puts the patient unnecessarily at risk."
The Court’s decision was issued on 29th of July 2022, by the District Court of Limassol.
Whilst accepting that incontinence was caused because of the second surgery, the court found that there was a breach of duty of care, because of negligent diathermy burning. Additionally, the Court held that the information given to the man was not appropriate, regarding the method and possible consequences of the surgery.
Lastly, the Court found that, despite the negligent medical treatment of the defendant, from the evaluation of the testimony, it appears that any difficulty of the plaintiff to work is attributable to incontinence and not to stenosis and therefore not due to the negligence of the defendant. In particular, the claimant stated in his testimony that at the time of the incident in question, he was unable to continue working for the company where he was employed. However, shortly after the operation, he rejoined his father's company as a director, but at a lower paycheck, than he was previously receiving, with immediate access to the facilities he needed because of his health condition. The Court assessing the rest of the testimony presented before it, it became apparent that the new company in which he was working provided him with the necessary facilities, which he needed due to his state of health postoperatively, and that he could therefore pursue the very same profession which he did before the contested incident. In view of this fact, the court did not award damages for future wage loss.