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SIGNIFICANT COMPENSATION ACHIEVED FOR WOMAN WITH BREAST CANCER WHO SUFFERED INJURIES DUE TO SURGICAL NEGLIGENCE


Posted in News on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

 Karen Kearney, assisted by  April Wiseman and Tricia Sisk, of the Medical Negligence Team at Cantillons  settled this complex medical negligence case on the 5th of October 2021, the date the case was due to commence hearing in the High Court in Dublin and  for three weeks thereafter. There had been a failed Mediation some two weeks previously, and on the following day,  the Defendants  served a Calderbank letter,  in which an offer of €25,000 more than was offered at Mediation was made. A Calderbank offer is a technique often employed by the Defendants to endeavour to  scare a Plaintiff to accept a settlement  offer  which, if not accepted and the Court awards the same or a lesser sum, then the Plaintiff is liable for the costs from the date of the offer/letter. On foot of our advice and that of Counsel, our client  did not accept the offer  and indeed received a further €75,000 more than was offered in the eventual settlement which was a substantial six figure sum.

In summary, our client  was diagnosed with left sided breast cancer in August 2010.  She previously, some years ago, had been diagnosed with  Hodgkin’s Lymphoma  for which she received  treatment by way of mantle radiation . She came under a Consultant Breast Surgeon  for her left sided breast cancer.  He recommended an extended Latissimus Dorsi Flap (LDF) for reconstruction of her left  breast post mastectomy.  This involves, in brief terms, taking volumes of fatty tissue from the back (up over the scapula and down the flank into the lumbar region) and inserting it into the breast that is removed at the mastectomy.  There are high rates of donor site complications with extended LDFs (which developed in our client’s  case) and particularly, if the vasculature is in any way compromised, which it was in our client’s  case by the prior mantle radiation.

As part of our investigations for our client, we commissioned reports from world renowned experts who confirmed causative negligence in the care afforded to our client.  Her Breast Surgeon expert, said it was “inappropriate and inadvisable” to offer an extended LDF in a patient who had undergone previous mantle radiation.  He also confirmed that she was also inappropriately consented for the procedure. There was a disastrous outcome for her in terms of scarring, pain etc. from the extended LDF and for which she required two scar revisions performed by a Plastic Surgeon and thereafter, two sessions of fat grafting in an attempt to improve the cosmetic appearance of her back.  She now has an enormous contour deformity (with the left side of the back completely different from the right), extensive scarring and which has been described as like  a “shark bite”.  She had been told by her Breast Surgeon that she would have a horizontal scar within her bra line.  Instead, there is a section 7 cm long, of the scar outside the bra strap area.

Our client was hugely relieved, after a lengthy drawn-out battle, to receive such a favourable out of court settlement together with her costs.

Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 4275673 or info@cantillons.com if you would like more information.

* In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.  Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Personal Injury Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.

Related Experts

Ernest J. Cantillon

Managing Partner

Karen Kearney

Partner

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