Partner Dominic Fairclough and associate Amy Anderson in the personal injury and clinical negligence team recently acted for 'Mr L' in a successful clinical negligence claim against Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, achieving an out-of-court settlement of £115,000.

The background

Mr L brought a claim against the Trust for compensation after receiving an incorrect diagnosis of adenocarcinoma following a prostate biopsy. After carrying out a serious incident investigation, the Trust discovered that human error had led to Mr L's biopsy sample being mislabelled in the lab. This meant that another patient's biopsy sample had been attributed Mr L, resulting in the misdiagnosis. Tragically, the negligence only came to light after Mr L had undergone irreversible prostate removal surgery.

The claim

Mr L's claim for damages included a significant sum for his injuries, reflecting the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the negligence. Not only did Mr L undergo unnecessary surgery, unfortunately, the irreversible prostatectomy also caused a range of physical symptoms, which Mr L has since had to endure.

Unsurprisingly, the negligent treatment also had a psychological impact on Mr L and the expert evidence obtained uncovered a psychiatric injury, in respect of which Mr L was entitled to seek a separate award of damages.

As well as seeking compensation for his injuries, Mr L was entitled to claim for financial losses suffered as a result of the negligent treatment. Of note, Mr L is registered deaf and felt strongly about advancing a claim for the British Sign Language interpreting costs he will incur when having the therapy sessions recommended for him moving forward. It is hoped that the recommended therapy will assist Mr L in coming to terms with the life-altering injuries he has suffered as a result of negligence.

The Trust admits liability

Ashford & St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust issued an early admission of liability in relation to Mr L's claim, as well as an apology for the failings in the care that he received. The Trust admitted that there was no clinical reason for Mr L to undergo a prostatectomy based on his true biopsy results.

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