£125,000 awarded following mastectomy surgery

Compensation of £125,000 was awarded to a Claimant following a negligent breast cancer treatment claim.

The surgery became necessary after the hospital failed to appropriately treat a health issue seven years earlier.

Details of the Claimant's injury

The Claimant was diagnosed as having a benign growth in her left breast. This was removed successfully in 2006. 

Clinical best practice required follow-up treatment for up to five years to monitor the tissue.

At a follow-up outpatient appointment shortly after the surgery, the Claimant was reviewed and discharged. No further appointment was arranged.

Two years later, the Claimant found a second lump. The Claimant was diagnosed with a cancerous growth in the same breast. The tumour was extensive. 

Surgical treatment was recommended. Due to the size and complexity of the growth a mastectomy was necessary. The lady also had chemotherapy and radiotherapy following the surgery.

Reconstructive surgery was necessary after the mastectomy. Two operations were completed and more would be needed in future.

Her life expectancy was reduced by the cancer. An expert oncologist reported that she would likely have lived for 10 years longer had the cancer been treated earlier.

Allegation

It was alleged that the health authority were negligent insofar as they failed to regularly review her original condition.

Regular review was standard recommended practice. The second cancerous growth would have been spotted sooner and drastic surgery could have been avoided had the regular reviews been carried out.

It was maintained that early detection would have made minimal surgery the most appropriate treatment. Instead a full mastectomy had to be performed.

Reconstructive surgery was necessary and the Claimant's life expectancy was reduced by 10 years.

Conclusion and settlement

Liability was not admitted. Compensation was paid in full without admission of fault.

£125,000 compensation was accepted in an out of Court settlement.

£60,000 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."

The remainder of the compensation was awarded in recognition of the Claimant's shorter life expectancy.