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Case Study

Settlement against two separate Trusts for woman suffering terminal chordoma cancer

Jonathan Zimmern won settlement on behalf of a woman suffering chordoma, a rare form of bone cancer, following delayed and mis-diagnosis by two separate NHS Trusts. Sadly, her cancer is now terminal.

Maggie* brought her first claim against Guy's and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust for failing to offer her proton beam therapy following initial sacropexy surgery to remove the chordoma in 2014. The second claim was against Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which incorrectly reported at least four follow-up MRI scans between 2014 and 2016 and failed to recognise that her cancer had returned.

As a consequence, when the recurrence was identified, Maggie was rejected for proton beam therapy on the NHS because the cancer was by then widespread. She was therefore obliged to seek out and pay for private therapy in Prague. The delay in diagnosis is predicted to have reduced her life expectancy by between five and seven years.

Maggie instructed Jonathan to claim on her behalf. Both Defendants admitted that they failed to advise Maggie properly in relation to proton beam therapy between 2014 and 2016, but denied that she should have been referred to the proton beam panel in any instance, or that she would have been accepted even if so advised. Kings Collage Hospital NHS Trust also denied that any of the MRIs were negligently interpreted.

Jonathan sought expert opinions from a clinical oncologist, radiologist, orthopaedic surgeon and a psychiatrist to build Maggie's case and successfully argued that the treating oncology team in 2014 failed to arrange, advise or recommend proton beam therapy or other treatment to Maggie and that many of the subsequent MRIs were negligently interpreted.

The Defendant initially denied liability but after Jonathan issued Court proceedings and set out argument, they eventually offered settlement in January 2021 which Maggie accepted. Settlement will provide Maggie with financial security for the rest of her life. Following settlement, Maggie said:

"[During the time that] Jonathan and his team worked on my case… there were many problems to overcome. He never flinched. He worked until they were all resolved.

"Jonathan is the most thoughtful, kind and hardworking solicitor you could have. He responds to every question, every phone call and every email pretty much by return.  I would most definitely highly recommend him."

*Name changed

Contact us

For further information about cancer misdiagnosis claims and other delayed diagnosis claims, please call Jonathan Zimmern on 020 7861 4218 or email jonathan.zimmern@fieldfisher.com.

Alternatively

All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee. Find out more about no win no fee claims

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