On Monday 23 May 2011, Mr Justice Owen gave judgment in a clinical negligence action brought by businesswoman, Penny Johnson, against consultant plastic surgeon, Mr Le Roux Fourie, for £6,190,840. Mrs Johnson was represented by Lawrence West QC of Henderson Chambers and Michael Mylonas, instructed by Colum Smith of McMillan Williams.
The Court accepted the Claimant’s case as to the impact that the effects of the surgery had on her life. In his Judgment, Owen J
stated that Mrs Johnson was a “completely different person” following the surgery. Further, he accepted Mr West QC’s contention that the facial twitch had made it impossible for Mrs Johnson to carry out the high profile face-to-face meetings upon which her business depended. The Judge held that these injuries had a devastating effect on her and led directly to the failure of her business. Mrs Johnson was awarded £6,190,884 in damages.
Following the admission of liability, the Claimant’s case was focused upon demonstrating the extent of the effects that her injuries had upon her personal and professional life. The case was therefore marked by the careful development and deployment of medical evidence in this regard. Further, the Claimant’s case relied upon evidence from high-powered businessmen both in England and abroad testifying to Mrs Johnson’s pre-surgery business acumen and her contrasting performance after the failed surgery in order to substantiate her damages claims. The majority of the award of damages represented her loss of earnings, both past and future.
Abigail Cohen (Barrister at Henderson Chambers)
Lawrence West QC of Henderson Chambers represented Mrs Johnson, instructed by Colum Smith of McMillan Williams.