A woman who is gravely ill with ovarian cancer has lost her High Court action for damages over an alleged delay in her diagnosis.
An order for the substantial costs of the 11 day action will not be executed against the woman, a mother of three aged in her 30s, provided she does not lodge an appeal against the court’s decision.
Mr Justice David Keane, who dismissed the woman’s case on Friday, was told that the woman’s condition is “critically grave” and expressed his sympathy to her husband, who was in court, and her family. He said it was a “very sad, sad situation”.
None of the parties including the defendants, a consultant radiologist and companies providing MRI services, can be named by order of the court.
At issue in the case was an MRI scan that the woman had in June 2016 which was reported as normal. The woman claimed the scan showed features of a particular form of ovarian cancer which were not reported upon due to negligence.
She claimed she received a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis and her disease was, as a result, less susceptible to treatment when it was detected.
In his judgment, Mr Justice Keane said the case in substance was pursued solely against the radiologist as the woman’s legal team did not proceed with a claim against the imaging companies for allegedly failing to produce a suitably sufficient image.
He found there was no failure of care by the radiologist. The radiologist did not deviate from any general or approved practice or follow any general or approved practice that was subject to an obvious inherent defect, the judge found.
“He acted with the ordinary care which a medical prtactitioner of equal status and skill should have shown,” the judge stated.
The woman was not feeling well when she had an MRI scan of her pelvis area on June 29th, 2016. It came back as normal and it was reported there was no identifiable cause for her symptoms.
Her symptoms, particularly stomach bloating, persisted and she had a CT scan in November 2017 which showed up a suspicious ovarian mass. She was later diagnosed with a likely ovarian carcinoma and in December 2017 it was confirmed she had Stage 4 ovarian cancer.