Case Study : Failure to diagnose Chronic Kidney Disease

Our client was in his early 40s when, having collapsed, he was diagnosed as suffering with End Stage Kidney Disease. Whilst our client had a history of a kidney condition (glomerulonephritis) he had never been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, let alone End Stage Kidney Disease.

It was the client’s case that one of his GPs had failed on several occasions, to carry out the necessary tests/checks which the client’s medical history demanded, and also failed to refer our client on to a kidney specialist.

Unfortunately for our client, these failures on the part of his GP (who would become the defendant in this case) went on over a period of several years, to the extent that our client did not receive his proper diagnosis until well over seven years after it ought to have been provided.

Whilst even the claimant’s own medico-legal expert was of the opinion that even with appropriate treatment and a timely diagnosis our client would still have needed dialysis and a kidney transplant, this would have been delayed by approximately 20 years but for the defendant’s negligence; a period of time which would have allowed the claimant to properly plan for his and his family’s future and would have, the claimant successfully argued, led to him making different and more financially lucrative decisions with regard to his career.

Following service of the Letter of Claim, the defendant made a full admission with regard to breach of duty (i.e. negligence) but only a limited admission with regard to causation. County court proceedings were commenced and exchange took place of lay witness and expert witness evidence prior to a negotiated settlement of our client’s compensation claim for a sum which was well into six figures.

During our initial telephone conversation with our client, he made it clear to us that he had recently approached another firm of solicitors to see if they would take on this medical negligence case but they did not consider that it had reasonable prospects of success and therefore, refused to do so.  From the perspective of this firm, this made the result of his case all the more rewarding, because we were able to achieve a very good result for our client which may not have otherwise come about. 

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