Delay in diagnosis of lung cancer claim settlement of £32,000

We recently acted for a 48 year old woman who received £32,000 in compensation after a hospital failed to diagnose her lung cancer for almost a year. During this time the X-ray results clearly stated that lung cancer could not be excluded and that further investigations should take place.

Delayed diagnosis of cancer

The woman first went to the hospital on 21 February 2008 complaining of pelvic pain. An X-ray was carried out, the results of which stated that the X-ray should be repeated and that lung cancer could not be excluded. However, no action was taken by the hospital.

She attended the hospital again on 18 November 2008 with thoracic back pain – a ‘red flag’ sign, which usually necessitates investigations into illnesses such as cancer. No action was taken again.

In January 2009 she went back to see her GP with ongoing pain and another chest X-ray was carried out on 23 January 2009. She was finally diagnosed with lung cancer on 9 February 2009, almost a year after her initial X-ray.

At this point, the cancer was inoperable, and the woman had to have chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy.

She had formally complained to the hospital at the time she sought legal advice, and the hospital trust admitted that they should have taken further action after the x-ray in 2008.  The Trust later formally admitted liability in response to a formal Letter of Claim.

Making a negligence claim

An expert opinion was sought and concluded that had the cancer been diagnosed a year earlier, then, on the balance of probabilities, the tumour would have been amenable to surgery, the chemotherapy would have been curative rather than palliative and radiotherapy would not have been required. The woman would also have had a significantly greater prospect of survival than she does now. The claim was presented on the basis that the claimant would not have required radiotherapy treatment, and therefore would have avoided the unpleasant side effects of this treatment.

The woman instructed Boyes Turner in June 2009 and the claim was settled in just under 15 months. There were no costs to the client in bringing this claim.

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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