Breast Cancer Blunder Fatality Case Settles for £330,000

We reported previously (17.12.13:- Breast cancer test result blunder – case settles) on the South London Healthcare NHS Trust admitting liability, in this breast cancer case, for the serious mistakes that took placed at Farnborough Hospital in South London.

Our client’s wife was referred to the hospital with a lump in her right breast.  In October 2002 they wrongly advised her as to the cytology classification from a Fine Needle Aspiration. Because of this, instead of having further investigations, she was discharged from the Breast Cancer Clinic. This meant that her cancer went untreated.  She was subsequently diagnosed with terminal cancer in January 2005 and died in April 2009.

We were instructed in July 2012, issued proceedings in September 2012 and served them early last year. The Trust then made full admissions of liability for medical negligence causing our client’s wife’s death.  The case was not contested on limitation grounds.

Subsequently, the Trust made a part 36 offer to settle in the sum of £200,000 which was rejected. Following this, however, our counter offer, on behalf of the family, was accepted in the sum of £330,000.

That settlement figure has today been approved by the High Court in London (whose approval was needed as part of the damages will go to the son of the family who is still under 18).

Please see our earlier article for fuller details of the case and the comments of Nick Fairweather (who had conduct of the matter) as to the seriousness and magnitude of the error in the case.

Commenting on settlement having been reached and approved, Nick said:-

”I am pleased that this case was settled at an early juncture for a realistic sum. Although no amount of money can ever bring my client’s wife back, the compensation will make a difference to him and his son, moving forward, and reflects the fact that he was left as a single parent at a comparatively young age. I am proud of the firm for taking this case on. It had been rejected by another firm on limitation grounds and was also rejected by after the event insurers on the same basis. I should like to thank Temple insurance for agreeing to provide insurance cover for the case, without which it could not have proceeded.

The deceased was a strong and brave lady which was shown in her battling her cancer and that courage lives on in her husband and their son who have shown incredible fortitude and dignity in dealing with this matter at all stages which has been truly humbling to witness. They take the firm’s very best wishes with them into the future.”