Michael Scobie, Senior Associate in our Clinical Negligence team at Hay & Kilner, acted on behalf of the Estate of a patient who sadly passed away following a delayed diagnosis of bowel cancer. The patient had no significant previous medical history and had retired to assist with childcare for her grandson. The Estate was awarded compensation of £350,000 in November 2023.
Michael was instructed by the patient’s husband to investigate a potential clinical negligence claim following multiple failures to review and investigate his wife’s condition prior to her being diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer. Expert evidence was obtained from a Gastroenterologist and an Oncologist, which was supportive of the claim.
A detailed Letter of Claim was served on the Defendant identifying numerous breaches of duty, including a failure to explain to the patient the potential significance of the results of a CT scan, a failure to review the patient as intended following surgery, and a failure to arrange a flexible sigmoidoscopy to investigate the results of the CT scan.
It was alleged that, had the patient had a flexible sigmoidoscopy as intended, she would have been referred for surgery and appropriate treatment, which would likely have cured the cancer at an early stage. It was alleged that, as a result of the breaches of duty, the patient was later diagnosed with incurable bowel cancer and passed away prematurely.
Following receipt of the detailed allegations, the Defendant admitted liability in full, provided an apology, and invited the Claimant to explore settlement of the case.
The Claimant obtained quantum evidence in the fields of personal care and assistance, childcare, travel expenses, private medical treatment, services dependency, childcare dependency and loss of intangible benefits.
Following negotiations at a Round Table Meeting in November 2023, settlement was reached. The case settled for £350,000 plus costs and the Defendant offered an admission and apology to the patient’s husband.
Michael’s client was grateful for the professionalism and efficiency with which Michael acted throughout the case. He comments: “Michael has a very personable approach which I think shines through, and I was particularly impressed with him and how he conducted himself at the settlement meeting.”
No amount of money will ever replace the loss that Michael’s client has suffered, but the monies received will undoubtedly help to support his family in the future, and in particular his grandchild.
Michael comments: “This was a tragic case involving a completely avoidable delay in diagnosis of cancer. Bringing a clinical negligence claim where someone has died obviously doesn’t bring them back, but the investigative process we undertake can provide valuable information for families that are desperate for answers.”
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