Liston Flavin Solicitors acted on behalf of the wife of a young man who died following a short battle with cancer.

By way of background, the deceased attended his GP complaining of abdominal cramps radiating to his back. The GP referred him to the A & E department of Navan Hospital, noting in his referral letter a history of malignant melanoma. He was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and discharged. Whilst there an x-ray of his abdomen was carried out which noted no abnormality.

In the meantime, the deceased remained unwell and reattended his GP complaining of central abdominal pain radiating to his lower back. He was once again referred to the accident & emergency department of Navan Hospital. He underwent blood tests, and it was agreed that a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis would be arranged with a possible colonoscopy. He was discharged home with a plan for surgical review in two to three weeks. He became unwell again and reattended the hospital a few weeks later. An abdominal x-ray and chest x-ray were carried at which point the consultant radiologist became aware of a likely primary cancer in the lung. The deceased was referred to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and his histology reported a neuroendocrine tumour. He was then seen by the oncology team but deemed too unwell for active treatment or chemotherapy. He was referred for palliative treatment and he died shortly thereafter.

The Plaintiff claimed that both hospitals involved in the deceased’s care failed to diagnose and treat him in time, the consequence of which he died very shortly after his diagnosis.

The HSE admitted negligence and breach of duty in relation to failing to correctly report the x-ray taken when the deceased initially attended in hospital. However, they denied that their negligence caused his untimely death shortly after his cancer diagnosis.

The case ultimately settled through mediation for a substantial sum, to include High Court costs and a Solatium payment for the family of the deceased.

If you require further information or advice from our specialist medical negligence team, please contact Rachael Liston on 019123240 or