Settlement agreed for failure to diagnose endometriosis

In 1998 Ms EK attended Kings College Hospital with a history of pelvic or lower abdominal pain, painful periods and dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse). Following initial consultation with a gynaecologist in November 1998, a laparoscopy was undertaken in March 1999 where spots of endometriosis were identified in both ovarian fossae and both utero sacral ligaments.

A course of contraceptive medication was commenced with the hope this would control the progression of the endometriosis and contain the pain but the medication did not agree with Ms EK and she discontinued taking it.

Pelvic pain continued and Ms EK attended Brighton General Hospital in 2004 where pelvic pain was noted again and where the previous history of endometriosis was acknowledged. A laparoscopy was undertaken by a general surgeon to explore whether there was a general surgical cause for the continuing pain. This surgeon did not use the Trendelenburg (head down) position during the laparoscopy and despite indicating he would involve input from a gynaecologist in the procedure, he failed to do so. The surgeon ruled out any general surgical cause for the pain but did not refer Ms EK on for a subsequent gynaecology review.

Ms EK continued to suffer pelvic pain, painful intercourse and exposed herself to numerous invasive examinations to explore the cause of her pain incurring considerable costs and suffering considerable psychological damage and loss of her sex life in the process.

In 2009, Ms EK was again referred to Brighton with continuing pelvic pain and this time underwent a laparoscopy with a gynaecologist who claimed to have a specialised interest in endometriosis. No endometriosis was identified and Ms EK was discharge. Her problems however continued.

Around 9 months later Ms EK consulted a private gynaecologist specialising in endometriosis who, on vaginal examination, identified endometriosis. In February 2011, Ms EK underwent laparoscopy with this surgeon who resected her endometriosis. The histology described the endometriosis as “florid” and “extensive”.

Allegations of negligence were made against the Trust for failures in 2004 and 2009. The Trust, the NHSLA and the Trust’s Lawyers resisted the claim throughout and right up to within 3 weeks of Trial in the High Court. Price Slater Gawne’s Peter Flory stood his ground and refused to capitulate supporting the Claimant’s case steadfastly. Trial bundles were prepared and Counsel and experts were prepared for trial.

In September 2015 the NHS LA caved in and offered the global sum of £40,000 in full settlement of the action inclusive of legal costs. There were undoubtedly risks on proceeding to trial particular since the Claimant’s expert gynaecologist had appeared to concede ground in the joint meeting of experts organised to narrow the expert evidential issues between the parties.

Ms EK said of Peter’s representation of her

“From the moment we first spoke on the phone, to the moment that the case was settled, I feel that you have been there for me 100%.

The fact that we were able to get such a positive result in a case that I know had many grey areas was down to your determination on my behalf, your knowledge of the legal process and your expertise both as a lawyer and previously as a clinical nurse.  Suffice to say I am incredibly pleased with the outcome.

It is worth saying however that for me the experience has been so much more than winning.

Having someone take me seriously and fight on my behalf has helped me to recover my confidence and start to put the traumatic experience behind me.

When you go through months and months of seeking answers and being let down, you begin to really doubt yourself.

Having you not only acknowledge that things were not done properly, but also putting yourself on the line for me, has been absolutely invaluable and to me has felt like a healing experience in its own right.

Having googled a few legal firms and left many messages, I was quite honestly shocked when I received a call and even more shocked when I realised that I had found someone who was prepared to take an Endometriosis case seriously.  Given the nature of the disease, had you been a different person I may have felt less comfortable discussing all the details (as some of them are very private and not that easy to talk about).  But throughout everything you have been incredibly approachable, supportive and down to earth and taken great care to put both me and my husband Matt at ease.

Having never before had any experience of making any kind of legal claim, the idea both before (and at times during) seemed a bit daunting as it was such an unknown entity for me.  But you were able to talk me through it and clarify each step which gave me the confidence to keep going.  I think that when you are making a claim that you need to have a lot of trust in those who are representing you.   I have to say that I had complete trust in you and never once doubted that you had my best interests at heart, a belief that is proved time and time again to be a hundred percent the case.  I also found the people you chose as experts and the barrister you chose all shared your knowledge, experience and values, which meant that I not only had confidence in you, but also felt confident in the team as a whole.

Having had this experience, I would have no reservations what so ever about recommending you to anyone in need of legal expertise in the field of clinical negligence.

As I could not imagine anyone better to have fighting your corner!

I wish you every success in the future.

And thank you once again from the bottom of my heart.

Kindest Regards”