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Case Study

Settlement for family of 40-year-old mother following Gateshead hospital's failure to identify large cancerous mass on oesophagus

Jonathan Zimmern brought a clinical negligence claim on behalf of the widower and children of Emily Edwards who sadly died in September 2020 after a delay in diagnosing her oesophageal cancer.

In November 2019, Emily visited her GP with a history of chest pains, weight loss and difficulty swallowing.  She was referred to Gateshead Hospital and underwent an endoscopy in November 2019. The purpose of the endoscopy was to look for an explanation for the symptoms, and cancer should have been high on the list of suspects. The endoscopy was reported as normal and Emily was discharged back to her GP.

Emily's symptoms worsened in February 2020 and she attended A&E. She underwent an urgent CT scan and a repeat endoscopy the following day, which found a large cancerous mass on her oesophagus. By this time, her cancer was so advanced it was resistant to various treatments. She was discharged to Gateshead palliative care team and died in September 2020.

The Trust admitted that they failed to identify the large cancerous mass on Emily's oesophagus during the first endoscopy. It was an aggressive form of cancer, which meant that had it been identified three months earlier, as it should have been, she might have been cured, or at least had the opportunity for more years with her children.

Jonathan negotiated a six-figure settlement for Emily's husband and three children who were aged 18, 17 and 10 at the time of their mother's death. This money will not give the family back the lost years with Emily but it may provide a degree of financial comfort for them in the years to come.

Emily's family said that her death has "left a massive hole in our lives. She spent her life looking out for other people and making sure that people were treated right." 

Following settlement, Emily's husband and brother said:

"This should hopefully bring some light in what has been a very dark few year… Thank you to yourself and your team for the help and support you have given us."

Contact us

For further information about delayed diagnosis claims and clinical negligence claims, please call Jonathan Zimmern on 03304606779 or email jonathan.zimmern@fieldfisher.com.

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Medical Negligence Claims