Woman Awarded Compensation for Bowel Cancer Misdiagnosis

A Staffordshire woman is to £50,000 compensation for a bowel cancer misdiagnosis which resulted in the untimely death of her husband.

In 2009, Christopher Goodhead (41) from Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire died four years after his GP had diagnosed him with piles instead of identifying that he had bowel cancer. The correct diagnosis was not made until two years later; by which time Christopher´s cancer had spread and was terminal.

Christopher´s widow – Melissa Cutting – sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a bowel cancer misdiagnosis against Dr Asim Islam of the Stanstead Surgery in Essex – the GP who had misdiagnosed Christopher´s condition.

She alleged in her action that the correct diagnosis of bowel cancer in 2005 would have enabled her husband to receive treatment that would have saved his life.

Dr Islam denied negligence; contesting that Christopher would have died “on exactly the same day or not significantly later” even if he had been referred for specialist treatment after his first consultation.

However, Melissa argued that Christopher´s exceptional fitness would have given him a good chance of fighting the cancer had it been diagnosed years earlier.

The claim for compensation for a bowel cancer misdiagnosis went to the Royal Courts of Justice, where it was presented before Mrs Justice Patterson.

The judge heard medical experts give testimony on behalf of both parties, after which Mrs Justice Patterson found that Dr Islam´s misdiagnosis of bowel cancer had shortened Christopher´s life, but that it would have been fatal irrespective of when it was identified.

Mrs Justice Patterson awarded Melissa £50,000 compensation for bowel cancer misdiagnosis, commenting that Dr Islam´s sub-standard care had probably deprived Christopher four more months of life.