£75,000 award for delayed diagnosis of lung cancer
£75,000 compensation was accepted by a 65-year-old woman following a clinical negligence claim for a delayed diagnosis of lung cancer. The claimant's health deteriorated in the intervening period between the initial failure to identify the cancer and the eventual correct diagnosis of lung cancer. This deterioration made treatment impossible.
The claimant, an internal office manager and qualified nurse, aged 62 at the date of injury and 65 when the settlement was reached, suffered from a delayed diagnosis of cancer of the left lung and secondary cancer of the right lung.
The claimant went to hospital complaining of heart problems. A chest x-ray revealed a shadow on her left lung. This was reported to a specialist registrar and it was recommended that there should be a follow up x-ray. Unfortunately the registrar did not complete the paperwork correctly as a result of which the claimant was not recalled.
Two years later the claimant was being treated for heart problems. The x-ray taken previously was discovered and it was only at this point that the claimant was made aware of the results.
As part of her treatment the claimant was sent for a further x-ray. The x-ray identified a mass in her left lung which was substantially bigger than the mass that could be seen on the original x-ray two years previously.
The claimant was ultimately given life expectancy of one year which was significantly worse than the anticipated life expectancy had the tumour been diagnosed when the first x-ray was taken.
It was alleged that the NHS Trust was negligent insofar as they failed to recall the claimant for follow-up treatment at the appropriate time.
The claimant maintained that if she had been informed that she had lung cancer following the first x-ray, when the left lung cancer was smaller, she would have been able to have the appropriate treatment.
So far as the claimant's heart problem was concerned, that was treated successfully and there would have been nothing to stop the claimant returning to work as an office manager in 2009.
Settlement and conclusion
The matter was settled out of Court for the sum of £75,000.
Compensation of £44,938.33 was accepted for "pain, suffering and loss of amenity".
The remainder of the compensation was made up of past and future losses, loss of earnings and future care.