Widow compensated for fatal misdiagnosis

Posted: 30th May 2014

NHSA widow whose husband died of bowel cancer has won compensation of £50,000 after a GP’s misdiagnosis of his condition deprived him of four months of life. The doctor had reassured the father-of-four two years before his death that he was suffering from nothing more serious than piles.

Lawyers representing the widow argued that the GP’s negligence had prevented her husband obtaining prompt treatment that would have given him many more years of life. The court accepted that the doctor had given ‘sub-standard care’ to his patient. However, it went on to find that, on the balance of probabilities, a timely diagnosis would only have extended the husband’s life by a further four months.

The widow had claimed more than £1 million in damages, but accepted an offer of £50,000 in the light of the court’s decision. The husband, an information technology specialist, had been a very fit and determined man who had recently completed the London Marathon when his cancer was diagnosed.