Settlement for delayed diagnosis of brain tumour

Case Studies

Settlement for delayed diagnosis of brain tumour


We have recently settled a claim for the widower of a woman who suffered a delay in the diagnosis of a brain tumour. The delay led to over four months of unnecessary pain and suffering.

Our client’s wife was under the care of Medway NHS Foundation Trust in late 2017, when she attended the emergency department complaining of head and neck pain, facial droop, blurred vision and an altered sensation in her left arm. The observations were recorded and she was referred to the primary care team, who considered a diagnosis of Bell’s palsy.

Her symptoms did not resolve over the following months and her GP referred her for an MRI scan, which found a space-occupying lesion in her brain. By this time, our client’s wife was severely unwell, immobile and unable to eat. She underwent surgery for the brain tumour but was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite receiving treatment, the cancer spread to her brain, and she sadly passed away in 2019.

Investigations were carried out as part of the clinical negligence claim, led by our specialist team, and expert evidence was obtained. It was alleged that there had been a failure within the emergency department to keep our client’s wife in hospital for further assessment and management in late 2017. Her neurological symptoms did not trigger further investigations, as they should have. The failings led to a delay of over four months in diagnosing and treating our client’s late wife, causing her unnecessary pain, suffering and worry.

The defendant admitted that their failings caused the delay, and a settlement was negotiated. Victoria Johnson, associate, who led the claim, said: “While nothing can ever make up for the loss suffered by our client and his family, we hope that it is some comfort to have reached a resolution to this sad case.”


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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