Medical Negligence News

Claim for Misdiagnosed Melanoma Settled Through Negotiation

Posted on: January 25th, 2017 by Medical Negligence

An elderly Yorkshire woman, who was told that her malignant melanoma was actually benign, has been awarded a five-figure settlement of compensation for the error. 

Joyce Huck, aged seventy-two and living in Sutton-in-Craven in North Yorkshire, first attended the Bradford Royal Infirmary in February 2013 for a skin biopsy. Even though two separate tests suggested that the tumour was benign, Joyce was unconvinced and decided to visit her GP. 

After expressing her concerns to her doctor, Joyce was sent for another biopsy and was informed in December 2014 that the melanoma was malignant. Another biopsy was conducted in 2015 and samples were taken from the lymph node to test whether or not the cancerous cells had spread. Fortunately, it was discovered that they hadn’t.

Upon her recovery, Joyce consulted a solicitor and made a claim for medical negligence compensation compensation against the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the stress caused by the misdiagnosis of her melanoma. She also claimed that waiting to hear whether or not the cancer had metastasised caused a lot of anxiety to her and her family. 

The NHS Trust admitted that it was at fault for the misdiagnosis and subsequently entered negotiations with Joyce concerning a compensation settlement. A five-figure settlement was agreed, and the NHS Trust additionally apologised for the mistake, saying that it was “deeply sorry” for the stress inflicted upon the family. A spokesman added that “The care we provided fell below our usual high standards and we sincerely apologise to Mrs Huck for this”.

Speaking to her local press after the announcement of the settlement, Joyce commented that “At the time [of being called back to the hospital] I was not told the previous biopsies had been misreported. It was only when I was referred to a plastic surgeon for the growth to be completely removed that I was told the earlier biopsies had also shown cancer. It was shocking to think I’d been living with cancer for so long and it had been left untreated.”