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£7.4 million compensation for delayed diagnosis of Medulloblastoma

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    Kerstin Kubiak, Partner, acted for M, a child who suffered significant neurological injury as a result of a negligent 9 month delay in diagnosis of a Medulloblastoma brain tumour. M required an MRI scan of her brain when she was …

    By clinicalnegligence

Kerstin Kubiak, Partner, acted for M, a child who suffered significant neurological injury as a result of a negligent 9 month delay in diagnosis of a Medulloblastoma brain tumour.

M required an MRI scan of her brain when she was aged 11 years as she had been suffering with prolonged vomiting.  The scan was reported as normal.  Her symptoms continued and became worse, including frequently falling over, and therefore her parents sought urgent further medical advice 9 months later.  A further scan was performed and a mass was noted.  M underwent urgent neurosurgery to reduce pressure on her brain, followed by a further operation 2 days later to remove the tumour, which was diagnosed as a Medulloblastoma.

The Defendant admitted that a mass had been present on the earlier scan and should have been diagnosed at the time, and therefore there had been a 9 month delay in diagnosis during which the tumour grew considerably.  M required much more extensive neurosurgery as a result of the delayed diagnosis, together with very aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy as metastases were present.  She suffered permanent neurological injury as a result causing:

  • Dysarthia (speech difficulties);
  • An ataxic gait giving rise to difficulty with stairs and risk of falls as well as an inability to walk any significant distance;
  • A marked tremor in the right and left hand;
  • Co-ordination difficulties and a cerebellar tremor;
  • Visual impairment including double vision and reduced vision in both eyes;
  • Bilateral facial palsies requiring significant facial surgery;
  • Upper limb weakness;
  • Personality change;
  • Cognitive problems including marked difficulty with concentration and processing difficulties;
  • Extreme fatigue and sleep difficulties.

M requires lifelong 24 hour care and support.  It is likely that M will be unable to gain remunerative employment as a result of her injuries in adulthood, and she requires assistance in managing her financial affairs.

M was awarded compensation for her injuries. This comprised an immediate lump sum of £2.4 million plus yearly payments for the rest of her life:

1. Care and Case Management:
– To age 19 – £115,000;
– Age 19 to 45 – £135,000;
– From age 45 – £149,000.
2. Loss of Earnings £15,000 per annum from age 21 to age 65
3. Court of Protection/Deputyship costs to assist our client to manage her compensation £10,000.

These payments are index linked and guaranteed every year for the rest of her life.  It is estimated that this amounts to an equivalent capitalised sum of £7.4 million.  The compensation will provide M with adapted accommodation and specialist equipment, together with meeting her care needs for the rest of her life.

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