We were instructed to pursue a clinical negligence claim against the hospital trust for their failure to act appropriately following the result of the original chest x-ray. Had it been properly considered, the cancer would have been detected a year earlier, which was likely to have resulted in a better prognosis. Our client had been told that her prognosis was poor and, due to the secondary spread of cancer from one organ to another, life expectancy was limited. Our clinical negligence solicitors had to act quickly to advance the claim against the hospital trust and invited them to make an early admission of liability.
Our client attended the accident and emergency department of a hospital trust complaining of chest pains. She underwent a chest x-ray, was told that she had nothing to worry about, and was discharged without any follow up. A year later, our client continued to complain of chest pains and consulted her GP, who referred her for an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist. Whilst establishing her previous medical history, the ear, nose and throat specialist noted that the chest x-ray, undertaken the previous year, showed a marked shadow on our client’s lung and was marked as high priority. Two days after our client’s appointment with the ear, nose and throat specialist, she was immediately referred for an urgent CT scan of the chest. The news was tragic for her; she had a shadow on her left lung, which was visible in the previous year’s x-ray, but it was confirmed as cancerous, and had spread to her right lung.
The client was elderly, anxious and frustrated, and wanted to ensure that the claim was resolved before she passed away. Tragically, it was inevitable that her life expectancy had been compromised.
Our clinical negligence solicitors managed to secure an early admission of breach of duty, but the hospital trust denied the full extent of what this had caused. They argued that, although the chest x-ray had not been acted upon appropriately, this had not necessarily adversely affected the ultimate outcome. Despite the time pressures, the team managed to secure a causation report from a cancer specialist very quickly, as did the hospital trust. With a difference in opinion between the experts, in regards to the extent of causation and life expectancy, we were keen to secure a settlement for our client during her lifetime. We entered into early negotiations with the hospital trust, with the argument that had remedial treatment started 11 months’ earlier, when the tumour and lymph node metastasis were smaller, our client’s response to chemotherapy would have been more positive and the remission would have been longer. Our clinical negligence team argued that the client’s tumour was slow growing and that she would have lived for another two years, had treatment started earlier.
Ultimately, following extensive negotiations with the hospital trust, a compromise settlement figure was agreed in the sum of £35,000. This was made available to our client immediately so that she could enjoy this sum with her family members during her remaining lifetime.
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My mother has had a terrible time since this ordeal started. You have been absolutely superb and helped through everything, step-by-step, and at her pace, which made a real difference!
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