Delay in Diagnosis of Cancer Case

Eoin Kearney took instructions in a case which related to an alleged delay in diagnosis of lung cancer. The client had attended with the hospital in September 2017 and an MRI scan was carried out on that occasion which the client was informed was clear. His health issues persisted in the following months to the extent that his GP referred him back to the Oncology Department for further tests in January 2019. It subsequently transpired that a lesion was present in the 2017 MRI scan and had not been reported on.

The issue had not been raised with the hospital at that stage and Eoin assisted his client with the drafting of the complaint initially. After the client submitted a complaint, the hospital informed him that a Serious Adverse Incident (SAI) investigation was to take place, which is an internal investigation carried out by the hospital, with the term “adverse incident” being defined as “any event or circumstances that could have or did lead to harm, loss or damage to people, property, environment or reputation”. After production of the SAI Report Eoin forwarded this to the Trust’s legal representatives and obtained an admission of liability.

An expert report from an independent Oncologist in England was obtained in relation to the consequences of the delay in diagnosis (known as causation in legal terms). After negotiations, the case settled for a substantial figure which the client was able to benefit from and which greatly assisted him whilst dealing with his ongoing health issues. The client was quite clear that the admission of liability – which unfortunately is rare in medical negligence cases – meant more to him and was more in the form of justice than the settlement figure, and he was extremely appreciative of the legal assistance he received from Eoin at Brendan Kearney & Co.