Settlement payouts to persons in the UK who suffered as a result of misdiagnosis almost doubled year over year from 2009-2010 to 2010-2011 according to a report in the Telegraph. The British newspaper obtained the information as a result of a freedom of information request. The amount of compensation paid rose from £56 million to £98 million. A British pound is roughly equivalent to 1.6 Canadian dollars. A large proportion of cases involved the misdiagnosis of cancer.
Rapid Rise in Settlement of Misdiagnosis cases
The number of successful misdiagnosis claims increased by nearly 80% in the five years from 2006-07, when there were 681 claims resulting in compensation totalling just under £50 million. In 2010 there were 1,204 successful cases brought against NHS trusts. In the five year period since 2006 only nine cases resulted in payments exceeding £2 million. Typically these are cases where the patient was permanently disabled and will need costly care for the rest of their life.
Misdiagnosis of Cancer Cases form 1 in 10 Settlements
Nearly one in ten of the cases settled in 2010 related to health staff failing to diagnose cancer or resulting in a misdiagnosis of cancer. The largest compensation sum paid for a cancer diagnosis mistake was £959,000, with a further 12 payments of £300,000 or more.
No explanation was given for the growth in misdiagnosis cases or for the large proportion of misdiagnosis of cancer claims. One would think that advances in medical technology would aid in the proper diagnosis of patients. However they may also be responsible for an increase in the number of successful claims. The presence of diagnostic test results in a medical file that indicate the need for further investigation are the equivalent of the crime scene’s smoking gun if they are acted upon or followed up by medical practitioners.
For more information concerning these type of claims see our delayed diagnosis of cancer and failure to diagnose pages. If you or a loved one have suffered from a misdiagnosis of cancer contact us by completing our case evaluation form by clicking on the button in the sidebar or calling 416 862 0997 or 1 866 900 0997 if you are outside the Toronto area to speak to one of our lawyers for a free consultation.