Judith Rogerson successfully defended all allegations of breach of duty and causation in Devonport v Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust [2016] EWHC 1729 QB, a claim arising out of unusual complications following a radical hysterectomy.

The Claimant underwent a radical hysterectomy and node dissection after she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Some weeks later she was re-admitted to hospital with a large abscess in the psoas muscle. The abscess was successfully treated but she subsequently required surgery to remove an ovarian mass and to treat a ureteral stricture. It was agreed that these further procedures were required as a result of complications related to the psoas abscess.

It was alleged that psoas abscess developed because of contamination from bowel contents following a perforation to her bowel during the hysterectomy. It was also alleged that the Claimant had undergone an unnecessary additional operation to deal with a ureteral stricture since this should have been performed at the same time as the removal of the ovarian mass.

Mrs Justice Whipple rejected all allegations of negligence against the Trust. She preferred the explanation put forward by the experts on behalf of the Trust that, rather than due to a bowel perforation, the psoas abscess had developed as a result of non-negligent bacterial contamination at the time of the hysterectomy.