Mark Bowman was instructed by David in connection with a claim against a leading Harley St oncologist following a misdiagnosis of recurrent rectal cancer in February 2010. In 2008 David had initially been treated for rectal cancer at The London Clinic. He made a good recovery, but in early 2010 repeat scans were suggestive of a tumour recurrence. David was seen by the oncologist that had previously treated him in 2008, who diagnosed David as suffering from a recurrence of his rectal cancer. Repeat chemotherapy, including use of the drug Bevacizumab, was commenced in February 2010, and continued until the end of April 2010.
At the beginning of May 2010, David was admitted to The London Clinic acutely unwell, where he required extensive surgery to his pelvis and bottom. He was diagnosed with suffering from a significant rectal infection. He was not suffering from, and had not been suffering from, a recurrence of his rectal cancer.
Due to the severity of the infection, which had been made worse by the delay in treating it, by administering chemotherapy, which weakened his immune system, and by prescribing Bevacizumab, which has a known side effect of gastrointestinal perforation and exacerbating any fistula, David required multiple surgeries, and remained in hospital until September 2010.
David required major resection to his right buttock and has been left with permanent bilateral foot drop due to the nerve damaged sustained during the life saving surgery which was required due to the delay in diagnosing the infection. David has also been left with a permanent stoma and extensive unsightly scarring. David requires specialist aids and equipment to help him in his daily life, adapted rental accommodation which is suitable for him due to his disabilities, and care to assist him with many daily tasks.
David instructed Mark Bowman to investigate a claim on his behalf. It was alleged that the diagnosis of recurrent cancer was negligent. In particular, during the period February to April 2010, it was alleged that the oncologist failed to discuss David's case in the context of a multidisciplinary team meeting, failed to acknowledge that David's blood test results, which included abnormal neutrophil counts and C-reactive protein (CRP) (both of which are indicative of infection), and failed to organise further tests to confirm the diagnosis prior to commencing chemotherapy, involving the use of the drug bevacizumab.
The Defendant admitted that David did not have recurrent cancer and that it was negligent to prescribe bevacizumab, given David's previous medical history. All other allegations were denied, and it was specifically denied that David was left with a permanent stoma as a result of the alleged or admitted negligent treatment.
The trial in David's case was listed for April 2015, but in December 2014, following negotiations with the solicitors for the Defendant, the claim settled for the sum of £200,000. This sum would compensate David for his pain and suffering, for his past expenses, and the expenses he will be likely to incur in the future.
At the end of the case, David said "Thank you Mark for all the time and effort you put into my case on my behalf. I really do not think I could have asked for more."
"This was an unusual case, as usually we see cases where there have been a delay in diagnosing cancer, as opposed to incorrectly misdiagnosing someone with cancer .The Defendant raised some unusual arguments, including that there was no need for a multidisciplinary team meeting in David's case, as he was in the private sector, and therefore that NHS standards did not apply. Ultimately the award of compensation represents a good outcome and I wish David all the best for the future."
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