Chris Gutteridge

Call 2006

"Chris is much more accomplished than his years' call suggests. He is a phenomenally able barrister, he has a very relaxed manner, clients love him, and he is an extremely tough advocate."

The Legal 500 2024
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Clinical Negligence

Chris has 15 years of experience in serious and catastrophic injury litigation. He now works exclusively for claimants who have sustained life changing injuries. His clinical negligence practice encompasses claims involving complex issues of law, fact and expert evidence relating to breach of duty and causation of injury.

Chris has a recent successes in representing claimants who have suffered injuries during the negligent management of labour (including cerebral palsy); injuries to the spinal cord during surgery; paralysis, amputation and avoidable progression of cancers caused by delays in diagnosis and treatment; and the disastrous consequences of negligently performed cosmetic surgery.

Chris has a wealth of experience as a trial advocate in the High Court and County Courts. He has represented claimants at trials of breach of duty and causation as a preliminary issue and on the assessment of damages, including cross-examination of medical experts, non-medical experts and medically qualified lay witnesses.

Chris is always happy to become involved in the early stages of a clinical negligence claim: providing preliminary advice to solicitor clients and meeting with lay clients. Chris can also help with the selection and instruction of expert witnesses.

Chris is recognised as an expert in drafting multi-million pound schedules of loss in the most complex cases of brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation and fatal injuries. He negotiates settlements on behalf of claimants worth millions of pounds each year, including at joint settlement meetings and mediations.

Clinical Negligence Cases

A (2020)

The 64 year old claimant underwent a below knee amputation in 2015 after the defendant Trust failed to consider a vascular cause for his symptoms of pain and numbness in the lower leg. In fact, thrombotic material from an abdominal aortic aneurysm had embolised to the left leg and it became ischaemic. The claimant rehabilitated well and returned to work as a bus driver. He would need specially adapted accommodation and support at the end of his life. He would significant prosthetic costs until later life when he would use a wheelchair more frequently. Settled at JSM for £800,000. Led by Gerard Martin QC.

B (2020)

The claimant suffered a life-changing spinal cord injury as a result of the Defendants’ failures to recognise severe L4/L5 stenosis on an MRI scan and subsequently diagnose cauda equina syndrome. By the time she underwent lumbar decompression, the Claimant’s CES was complete and she was left with a significant neurological deficit (pain, weakness and incontinence). The Defendant alleged that the Claimant’s CES would have been complete before surgery even absent the delay and her outcome would have been the same. The claim settled for £900,000 including claims for the cost of professional care and adaptations to her accommodation.

C (2020)

The 20 year old claimant suffered an elbow injury requiring replacement of the radial head. The implant was, however, inserted in mal-alignment and left in that position for 8 months. When it was removed the Claimant was left with an irreparable fixed flexion deformity at the elbow which significantly limited her function. She required assistance with all aspects of domestic life and childcare, and specialist equipment to maintain her independence with personal care. The defendant alleged that the claimant would have been significantly impaired because of her original injury even absent the negligence. The claim settled at JSM for £350,000.

D (2020)

The claimant underwent negligently performed knee replacement surgery in 2012 and negligently performed revision surgery in 2015. The negligence brought about the need for further remedial surgeries and the Claimant would need a further revision knee replacement with a custom-made implant (because of the damage caused to the surrounding bone by the negligent surgeries) in the near future. The claimant required adaptations to his home and an adapted vehicle because of his impaired mobility caused by the negligence. He needed help around the home and his need for help would increase as he aged. Settled at JSM for £250,000.

E (2020)

The claimant developed Nitrofurantonin-induced pneumonitis after receiving repeat prescriptions of a prophylactic dose of Nitrofurantonin (as treatment for recurrent UTIs) from her GPs over a number of years. Lung toxicity is a recognised side effect of Nitrofurantonin and its use as a long-term treatment was a breach of duty. The Claimant was left with breathlessness which impacted her work and activities of daily living. The Defendant disputed that the cause of her breathlessness was the residual effects of the Nitrofurantonin lung disease (suggesting she suffered from a different and unrelated lung condition). The claim settled for £190,000 at JSM.

F (2019)

The claimant had both of his legs amputated below the knee in 2015 as a result of a negligent failure to consider a vascular cause for his complaints of pain and numbness in his feet. Liability was admitted. The claimant became a full-time wheelchair user and was confined to the ground floor of his home. The claim settled after a JSM for £2.5 million (which included the cost of building specially designed accommodation on a plot of land close to the village where the claimant and his family had lived for years before his injury).

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G (2019)

The claimant had undergone surgery to fix right lower leg fractures with medial tibial plate but the operative site became infected and led to the need for a trans-tibial amputation. He claimed the defendant trust had failed to obtain his informed consent to the surgery. After a 3 day trial of liability as a preliminary issue the claimant succeeded with his argument that his doctors had failed to make him aware of material risks of plate fixation and reasonable alternative treatments. The judge accepted that, properly advised, the Claimant would have opted for circular frame fixation and avoided amputation, giving judgment in his favour for an amount of damages to be assessed.