ACL secured a six figure settlement for a young man who suffered a delayed diagnosis of a rare tumour known as a rhabdomyosarcoma, a high grade malignant tumour in his testicle.
This case arose out of the standard of care afforded to the Plaintiff at a local hospital where he had been referred by his General Practitioner having noticed a swelling in his testicle. He came under the care of a consultant urologist and the urology team who formed the impression that he was in fact suffering from epididymitis and was prescribed antibiotics for a period of two weeks. An ultrasound scan identified a solid area on the right testicle. Our client attended for review with the urology team having completed his course of antibiotics and was told that his epididymitis was resolving despite the young man’s persisting complaints of pain and continued swelling in his testicle. He was reviewed again some months later and a further ultrasound scan arranged which demonstrated a significant enlargement of the cyst which had previously been identified. At this stage it was noted to be hypervascular, however the urology team still considered it to be caused by epididymitis and a further course of antibiotics were prescribed. At this point the young man’s parents were dissatisfied with the care he was receiving and sought a second opinion. A second consultant urologist was consulted who immediately arranged a surgical exploration in light of a possible diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma. This was carried out and histology confirmed the diagnosis of a high grade malignant tumour extending to the margins. Our client was admitted for further radical surgery in view of the high grade malignancy including excision and radical orchidectomy. Following this operation advice was sought from the Royal Marsden Hospital London a noted centre of excellence for cancer care. Our client underwent sperm preservation and then commenced 4 cycles of IV chemotherapy plus radiotherapy with an additional 5 cycles of IV chemotherapy to treat his condition. Fortunately, following his intensive treatment, the young man’s prognosis is good and he should not suffer any shortening of his life expectancy.
Our client and his parents were concerned about the standard of care he received however and the delay in diagnosis of his tumour. In those circumstances expert evidence was obtained from a consultant urological surgeon and a consultant oncologist with a speciality in uro-oncology who provided supportive reports criticising the standard of care afforded to our client and also indicating that had an earlier diagnosis taken place,he would have avoided the necessity of radiation treatment and one of his surgeries. Proceedings were issued against the hospital and negligence admitted by the hospital in the Defence. The matter was listed for hearing but was resolved at Mediation shortly before the trial was due to commence and a six figure settlement agreed on behalf of the Plaintiff.
19 February 2021