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Medical negligence claim brought forward against the University Hospitals NHS Trust

30 April 2009

A 52 year old primary school teacher developed a suspicious lesion on her calf in 2000. The lesion was analysed by a pathologist at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and diagnosed as a basal cell carcinoma (a slow growing cancer which once removed is unlikely to recur). In 2003 she developed a similar lump in the same place. It was removed in early 2004 and found to be a malignant melanoma. Review of the 2000 sample found that the original lesion was in fact melanoma and that the pathologist had made a mistake. Sadly the cancer by this stage had spread whereby the Claimant developed growths elsewhere including in the brain. In September 2005 the Claimant passed away due to the medical negligence. A claim was brought against the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust alleging that the mistaken diagnosis made in 2000 amounted to a breach of duty and that had the melanoma been diagnosed at that stage the Claimant would have had good prospects of survival. However by the time of the actual diagnosis her prospects were poor. Breach of duty was eventually admitted and the matter was successfully dealt by our expert solicitors who resolved the claim by negotiation. The claimant’s husband received damages of £225, 000.