Botched surgery awarded €222,000 after 17-year judicial marathon

Former construction worker Joaquim Freitas has finally won compensation he feels is justified 17 years after a surgeon mistakenly cut his cubital nerve (in the elbow), changing his life forever.

Not only was finding work almost impossible, the then 27-year-old discovered he couldn’t do simple things like shave, or cut his nails.

Yet the court system is such that it took seemingly endless judicial attempts before the €220,000 ‘came through’ – and, of course, the money has not yet been paid.

But at least Freitas is finally smiling, his marathon battle taken successfully to the highest court in the country..

National tabloid Correio da Manhã explains today that Porto’s São João Hospital has been fighting to reduce the damages, initially awarded two years ago,

Last year, lawyers almost succeeded. The Central Administrative Court of the North slashed the €222,000 award by half, on the basis that Freitas’ problems in life had not all been caused by São João’s faulty surgery.

But Freitas kept up his pressure – this week getting the news he was praying for from the Supreme Administrative Tribunal.

Now, all that’s left is for the now 44-year-old to actually receive his money. Stories like these rarely explain how long this can take.

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