Negligent delay in diagnosing thyroid cancer


We are representing a young woman in her early 20s with a clinical negligence claim arising out of a delayed diagnosis of thyroid cancer.

The central allegations relate to a 15 month delay in diagnosis of our client’s papillary thyroid cancer and the implications this has had for her. Although a thyroid swelling was first considered by clinicians at the defendant’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital in August 2014, a CT scan was not reported upon adequately. When a fine needle aspiration sample came back with an inconclusive report, it should have been repeated, but was not. Our client was instead falsely reassured that her thyroid nodule was benign.

It was not until an initial operation in December 2015, for removal of the nodule, that the true diagnosis was suspected.  The cancer diagnosis was confirmed after referral to Southampton General Hospital, a specialist centre. Since then our client has undergone a series of treatments including three surgical procedures and three doses of radioactive iodine. As a consequence of this therapy, she has suffered a right vocal cord palsy, loss of her parathyroid glands (necessitating calcium and vitamin D therapy) and has been left with a reduced chance of a cure. Understandably, events have also caused her considerable psychological distress.

We have investigated this claim with the benefit of independent ENT and oncology expert evidence and liability has been admitted. There are still some differences of opinion between the parties as to the causative effect of the 15 month delay in diagnosis, but we hope this claim will settle amicably.


Return to case studies

Penningtons Manches LLP

Penningtons Manches LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. San Francisco is an associated office.

Penningtons Manches LLP