Claim settled for incorrect pancreatic cancer diagnosis resulting in major abdominal surgery


We have investigated and concluded a claim for a woman who was informed that she had pancreatic cancer and therefore underwent major emergency surgery to remove her pancreas, only to be told post-operatively that her tumour had been benign.

Whilst initially elated at the ‘good news’ that she didn’t in fact have pancreatic cancer, our client subsequently suffered a psychiatric injury (survivor guilt) and significant post-operative fatigue, as well as stomach and bowel issues. She was also forced to retire early from a career that had been her passion.

The claim arose from a failure on behalf of the hospital to carry out sufficient pre-operative investigations, which – if performed to a suitable standard – would have led to the correct diagnosis of a benign tumour, not a cancerous tumour, and the pancreatectomy surgery would never have been performed. Our client should not have been told definitively that she had pancreatic cancer and, had the correct diagnosis been issued, she would have been spared the trauma of believing she had a limited life expectancy and would not have shared this devastating news with her closest family. In addition, she also would not have suffered the significant after-effects of major abdominal surgery and would have been able to continue working until her chosen retirement date.

A significant amount of technical medical and forensic accountancy expert evidence was obtained to investigate and substantiate this claim. There were disputes between the parties involved relating to the causative impact of the negligent hospital treatment, what our client’s life expectancy would have been in any event, what her career projection would have been and hence the full extent of her loss of earnings and loss of pension value. The claim was settled at a virtual joint settlement meeting with the defendant hospital’s legal team for damages of approximately £330,000.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP