Case studies

Substantial damages for tragic influenza misdiagnosis


We were approached by the family of a woman who died aged 44 in September 2007 due to a misdiagnosis of influenza. She was in fact suffering from pneumonia which had also caused septicaemia.

In the days prior to her death she had sought medical advice from her general practitioners and the emergency ambulance services which failed to identify and treat pneumonia.

She had been experiencing flu-like symptoms, lethargy and lack of appetite. On visiting her GP she was diagnosed with influenza and was sent home with pain relief. Over the following four days her condition worsened. As she was now having difficulty breathing, she visited her GP again and was diagnosed with influenza and a suspected chest infection. The claimant was given antibiotics to treat the possible infection.

Despite this, her condition substantially deteriorated. Her breathing became even more laboured and her energy and lack of appetite were disturbingly low. At this stage an ambulance was called to attend her house. On arrival the ambulance crew seemed to be dismissive of her illness and reluctant to take her to hospital.

Over the remainder of that night and the following morning, the woman's condition tragically declined and she later collapsed and passed away. The case settled for substantial damages less than a week before the trial was due to commence.


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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