The Claimant( “C”) a 33-year-old woman, received £61,182 for injuries to her nose that she suffered as a result of undergoing a septorhinoplasty (nose job to improve the appearance of the nose and breathing through the nose) operation in April 2010.
Despite having further operations to try and rectify her injuries, she continued to have difficulty breathing and also suffered from psychological problems.
C, female, aged 27 at the time of the operation underwent a septorhinoplasty carried out by a private cosmetic surgeon in April 2010.
C made a claim against the Surgeon (“D”) alleging that the operation was carried out negligently and/or her consent had not been obtained. As a result of which, C suffered painful symptoms, including bleeding. She was left with a misshapen and functionally impaired (“Polly Beak”) nose and also narrowing of her internal nasal valves and nostril collapse on the lower part of the nose. She had a broad nose tip and narrowed airways due to nostril reduction and lack of support in the mid-third of the nose. There was visible scarring to the nasal tip and in the nostril grooves. She was unable to breathe properly. She also had to sleep with her mouth open, causing her to have a dry throat and lips and waking her up frequently. Her voice sounded nasally.
Her breathing difficulties had had an adverse impact on her relationship with her boyfriend and also caused her difficulties in her work.
C also suffered a harmful psychological reaction with symptoms of post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression.
C underwent an operation in August 2013. The operation improved her cosmetic appearance to one with which she was fairly happy, but she was left with a vulnerable nasal airway. She was informed that the result of any more revision surgery would be uncertain. She was also left with psychological effects which she was informed could be helped with cognitive behavioural therapy.
C’s evidence was that whilst she was fairly happy with the cosmetic appearance, she had problems breathing through her nose. This caused her problems: she snored at night and no longer went to the gym as she had done before to the initial operation. She said that if she had the money she would get advice about a further operation as well as having psychological treatment. Also, unsurprisingly, she was still distressed by what happened to her.
D did not respond to the litigation and Judgement was therefore entered for the Claimant for an amount of damages to be decided by the Court.
The judge found that the Judicial College Guidelines of little help when valuing the claim.
Estimate of breakdown of damages:
General Damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenity: £19,648
Past treatment : £7825
Past loss of earnings: £21,900
Future cognitive behavioural therapy: £1450
Future treatment: £3900
Balance: miscellaneous expenses