1st June 2020 – Our client Mrs K from Surrey lost her child to Epithelioid Sarcoma at the age of 21.
She approached Fairweathers in summer 2018 having been advised by her previous solicitors not to continue with her claim as it lacked sufficient merit. Undeterred, Mrs K came to us and, after considering the facts, the firm agreed to make further investigations.
Mrs K believed that her daughter had been let down by the medical profession with catastrophic consequences. The main issue was why it took so long to diagnose the Sarcoma.
This firm carefully reviewed the medical records and identified a consultation with Consultant Spinal Surgeon, Mr Christopher Schofield on 31 st March 2014 as pivotal.
It was our expert’s view that the consultation was substandard because he noted a lump on the back but failed to ask about red flag symptoms and failed to arrange imaging and onward referral.
The difficult question was the impact of a five-month delay in the diagnosis of an extremely rare cancer.
After providing very detailed instructions to a sarcoma specialist, it was established that the tumour would still have been localised with an earlier diagnosis meaning that surgery could have been performed. Mrs K’s daughter would have had a better palliation of symptoms, enjoyed an improved quality of life and a better self-image.
Most importantly of all she would have avoided six weeks of paralysis at the end of her life and lived for a few more months.
A Letter of Claim was sent to Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in May 2019. The Trust admitted liability and entered early settlement negotiations.
The case settled when Mrs K agreed compensation in the sum of £22,500 without the need for Court proceedings.
Steve Evans the Solicitor with conduct of this case commented as follows:- “I am very pleased that Mrs K has been rewarded for her dogged determination after she lost her daughter in such sad circumstances. In the end, she obtained an apology from the Hospital Trust for what happened and our investigations provided very important answers. It is fair to say that both sides worked hard to achieve justice in this case. With hindsight, it was definitely the right decision to take on this case”.