Five-Figure Compensation for Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

Geoffrey Simpson-Scott, Partner
Author:
Geoffrey Simpson-Scott
Partner, Head of Medical Negligence
Date:
26/02/2021

A Medical Negligence Claim Case Study - Client Situation

Mr Newman, a man in his 30s, was suffering worrying gastrointestinal symptoms, so he paid for a private scan. However, signs of a cancerous tumour were missed by the clinician reviewing the scan.

This resulted in a four-month delay in the diagnosis of stage 4 neuroendocrinal carcinoid cancer.

During this period, Mr Newman developed debilitating symptoms and suffered financial losses, which could have been managed and avoided had he been diagnosed early enough.

He contacted our specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors for a free claims assessment, so we could discuss claiming compensation against the private doctor, his employer and the company that provided the scanning services.

We were confident he had a strong claim and agreed to help him claim compensation, as potential causes for concern could be seen on the scan.

This meant the clinician should have erred on the side of caution and sought a second opinion. Had he done so, the correct diagnosis would most likely have been made earlier, and Mr Newman’s treatment could have started sooner.

Also, the missed opportunity to review and act on the scan meant that the doctor couldn’t be absolutely certain that the scan results didn’t show a benign mass.

How We Helped

Elizabeth Reid, a Paralegal specialising in Medical Negligence, in particular Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer Claims, arranged for Mr Newman to have an independent medical examination. This meant she could fully assess his injuries and calculate the impact they’d had on his quality of life.

Unfortunately, none of the defendants admitted responsibility for the medical negligence, and Mr Newman passed away while the claim was still ongoing. Elizabeth pursued the case further on behalf of his loving family, but the defendants still denied liability (fault).

The Outcome

After repeated attempts to overcome various issues, Elizabeth started negotiating with the defendants. However, the original amount of compensation they offered was far lower than the amount that meeting Mr Newman’s care needs would have cost.

Eventually, an undisclosed five-figure compensation settlement was agreed.

Although no amount of money can make up for Mr Newman’s death, his husband sincerely hopes that publicising this case will raise awareness and help prevent similar mistakes happening again.

This would provide a worthy legacy for Mr Newman and help to give his passing meaning.

The case also provides a timely reminder of the need to review scans and pathology slides carefully at a time when cancer treatment is being delayed and clinicians are under increased pressure to clear backlogs.

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