Compensation obtained for delay in diagnosis of ovarian cancer
Negotiations took place and settlement was reached in the sum of £10,000
Ms N first attended the gynaecology clinic in April 2015 with a three month history of lower abdominal pain and dysuria. An ultrasound scan noted that the right ovary contained a cyst. By June 2016 the Claimant had blood in her urine and a CT scan was performed. No diagnosis was made. She underwent a further ultrasound in May 2018 and was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer shortly afterwards. Following the diagnosis, the Claimant underwent surgery and chemotherapy, which was completed in November 2018. Unfortunately Ms N relapsed in 2020 and is currently undergoing more treatment.
An expert gynaecologist was instructed to prepare a report in respect of breach of duty. Subsequently, an Oncologist provided a report on causation. Whilst it was clear that there was a breach of duty on the part of the Defendant trust in failing to diagnose the cancer, causation was more difficult. We were only able to establish that a diagnosis should have been made three months earlier than it in fact was. This meant that the staging of the cancer that our client had would probably have been the same and therefore the surgery our client underwent was the same as it would have been even with earlier diagnosis. For a clinical negligence claim we are only able to claim for the difference between what would have happened with correct treatment as compared with what actually did happen. Here that difference was extremely small.
A pre action protocol Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant Trust setting out our allegations of negligence. At the same time we put forward a Part 36 offer to settle the claim in the sum of £17,500, because we were aware that the value of the claim was limited and that it would therefore be sensible to try and reach an early settlement. Limited admissions were subsequently made by the Defendant in the Letter of Response. They admitted breach of duty but denied causation entirely. Despite the denial, negotiations took place and settlement was reached in the sum of £10,000.
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