Medical negligence claims for delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of cancer can be very complicated, and often the success of the claim and the amount of the compensation awarded depends on the independent expert evidence.
In this article we look at two medical negligence cases that show the importance of expert medical evidence in cancer misdiagnosis claims, and how it helps in valuing the amount of the compensation settlement awarded.
The Case of Mrs C
Mrs C, aged 29, underwent a smear test in 1999 which was reported to be negative. A further smear test in 2002 found abnormalities leading to her being diagnosed with cancer. As a result, Mrs C underwent a hysterectomy.
Mrs C queried whether there was a delay in her cancer diagnosis and instructed Medical Negligence Solicitors to investigate the claim. Through independent expert medical evidence, her Solicitors were able to prove that the abnormalities seen in 2002 should have been identified at the time of the 1999 smear test. There had, therefore, been a 3 year delay in diagnosing cancer.
The medical expert was then able to advise on the difference the 3 year delay in diagnosis made to Mrs C’s eventual outcome. The expert advised that, had the cancer been diagnosed in 1999, the following consequences would have been avoided:
- Mrs C undergoing a hysterectomy and the related scarring
- Mrs C being infertile at the age of 32
- Residual aching in her stomach from a retained stitch which required further surgery
- A psychiatric disorder with features of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Mrs C’s Medical Negligence Solicitors were then able to consider compensation awards in other cases involving similar injuries, as set out in the Judicial College Guidelines, the guidelines used by Judges to decide on how much compensation should be paid out to patients. This allowed her Solicitors to value her claim and negotiate with the Defendant.
Mrs C received a compensation settlement of £55,000
The Case of Mr B
Mr B pursued a medical negligence claim in relation to the death of his wife, Mrs B, as a result of a failure to diagnose and treat colorectal cancer.
The independent medical expert in this case advised that the cancer should have been diagnosed and treated around 2 and a half years earlier. The expert advised that had the cancer been diagnosed when it should have been, Mrs B would have survived. She would also have avoided or suffered less:
- Back pain
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Weight loss
- 9 Months knowledge that she was terminally ill
Mrs B’s Medical Negligence Solicitors, with the assistance of the expert medical evidence, were able to value each part of the claim and start negotiations with the Defendant. The case concluded with Mr B recovering the following amounts* in compensation:
- General Damages £44,346
- Care provided to Mrs B £10,243
- Loss of services £53,859
- Loss of mother’s care £1,707
- Bereavement award £12,804
- Funeral expenses, miscellaneous and interest £19,918
Making a total compensation settlement of £142,877.
It is part of the Co-op’s ethos and values to provide help and support in enforcing legal rights so as to prevent injustice. We will always strive to secure the best possible compensation and rehabilitation support for our clients.
*Compensation for medical negligence amounts have been uplifted with reference to the Retail Price Index to reflect inflation.
At Co-op Legal Services our clients’ information always remains confidential. The above cases were not Co-op medical negligence claims but were reported in the Personal Injuries Quantum Database of Lawtel.