Central Coast Woman awarded $100,000 after radiologist delays cancer diagnosis

Published 24 Jul 2018

This matter involved the conduct of a radiology, specifically whether their delay in providing a correct diagnosis has caused our client to suffer greater harm.

In 2011 the woman was diagnosed with breast cancer and as a result had a single mastectomy at the hospital. Following her surgery she had regular check-ups with her oncologist on a yearly basis namely 2012, 2013 and 2014 and on each occasion a chest CT scan was performed prior to her oncologist review.

In March 2014 she had a chest scan at an imaging centre where the radiologist reported clear results. She had a further chest CT scan in March 2015 which identified metatised lesions in her lungs.

She attended a specialist, in early 2015 who compared the 2014 chest scan with the 2015 chest scan. The client was advised that the lesions were apparent and clear in the 2014 chest scan and in addition were even even evident on the 2013 chest scan.

When our client advised of the delay, she was distraught and suffered a shock with the news that the diagnosed lung lesions were delayed approximately 12 months.  As a result of this news, she suffered a psychological injury as this caused her to breakdown and become very fragile as she was let down by the system and she felt that she lost the opportunity of having treatment for a whole period of 12 months.

Our client approached Gerard Malouf and Partners to enquire about whether or not she was entitled to compensation for the delay in making a correct diagnosis. Julie Baqleh, Accredited Personal Injury Specialist, was of the view that this claim had merit and began to gather evidence in support of our client’s claim.

Ms Baqleh proceeded to brief an expert radiologist to provide their opinion on whether or not the radiologist was negligent in the diagnosis of our client’s metastasised lesions in her lungs. Ultimately, the evidence was conclusive that the radiologist’s failure to raise issue with our client’s CT scan was not in accordance with peer professional standards and therefore negligence was established. In addition, we obtained evidence from a psychiatrist who confirmed that our client suffered psychologically from the delayed diagnosis, namely our client could have lived her life differently if she received the diagnosis 12-24 months earlier including travelling and taking advantage of chemo therapy trials.

Ms Baqleh, mindful of the issue of time delay, organised a mediation with the Defendant with the hopes of reaching a settlement that was acceptable to our client. After negotiations, Ms Baqleh was able to settle this case for an amount of $100,000 in compensation. Our client was very pleased with the results.

Our expert medical negligence lawyers have the knowledge and skills to reach the best outcome for all of our clients. Anyone who has suffered as a result of sub-standard or negligent treatment from any type of medical practitioner. If you think that you may be entitled to compensation based on injuries you have suffered as a result of negligent medical treatment, please call us today on 1800 004 878  for advice or to take advantage of a free consultation with one of our accredited personal injury specialists.