Settlement following catastrophic delay in prostate cancer diagnosis | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Settlement following catastrophic delay in prostate cancer diagnosis

Richard suffers from terminal prostate cancer which was not diagnosed for almost 10 years. He brought a negligence claim against his GP for failure to refer him for appropriate treatment following the discovery of raised PSA levels over nine years which led to the metastatic spread of cancer to his bones. Richard now has a very limited life expectancy.

Once he was eventually diagnosed with his late-stage adenocarcinoma of the prostate, Richard underwent immediate treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, Androgen Deprivation Therapy and hormone management therapy by way of Zoladex. Unfortunately, the treatment came too late and while the cancer is currently stable, it will never be cured. With appropriate, timely treatment, it is likely that Richard would have been cured and would have had a normal life expectancy.

Richard instructed Jonathan Zimmern to bring his claim against his GP. Jonathan sought the opinions of an expert GP and oncologist and argued that the failure to urgently refer Richard for a urological opinion under the 'two week rule' for suspected cancer would have led to a biopsy of the prostate which would have demonstrated the presence of his prostate cancer.  He would have been offered a radical prostatectomy and would have most likely been cured.

The MDU, acting for Richard's GP, admitted that Richard should have been referred but disputed the how far the delay in offering treatment has actually affected his life expectancy. They argued that Richard's cancer had already metastasised in 2007 and that an earlier diagnosis at that time would not have cured him anyway.

Despite the significant difficulties in maintaining the argument that Richard would have likely been cured with an earlier diagnosis, Jonathan was able to successfully negotiate a settlement of £300,000 for Richard. This settlement will allow Richard to live the rest of his life without worrying about the financial impact the negligence has had on him and his family.

Following the settlement, Richard commented: "Huge thanks for the successful conclusion which [my wife] and I are delighted with. It not only means that I can stop work sometime in the near future to enjoy an early retirement , but also takes away the need to downsize the property, and ensures [my wife] long term security for our uncertain future.  The pleasure of working with you is mutual as you have always been very professional, and patient and caring at the same time. You have helped to make a difficult and stressful situation a lot easier."

Contact us

For further information about delayed prostate cancer diagnosis claims and delayed diagnosis claims, please call Jonathan Zimmern on 03304606779 or email


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