Can I make a claim for follicular lymphoma wrong diagnosis compensation if it has been more than two years since the original misdiagnosis?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

The Statute of Limitations in Ireland allows you to make a claim for compensation within two years of the date on which you discover that you have sustained a personal injury due to the negligence of somebody who owed you a duty of care. Therefore, you should be able to make a claim for follicular lymphoma wrong diagnosis compensation if the correct diagnosis of your tumour was made within the past two years. The date on which the correct diagnosis was made is referred to as the “date of knowledge” and it is from this date that the two years in which you allowed to make a follicular lymphoma wrong diagnosis compensation claim is counted.

However, before a follicular lymphoma wrong diagnosis compensation claim can be made, it has to be shown that the doctor who originally made the wrong diagnosis of follicular lymphoma was negligent “in the circumstances and at the time”. In order to establish negligence, a solicitor would engage the services of an expert oncologist to review your medical history and ascertain whether a “competent” doctor would have made a wrong diagnosis when presented with the same symptoms, scan results and test results.

Once negligence is established, it also has to be demonstrated that you suffered an avoidable injury because of the negligence of the doctor responsible for the wrong diagnosis. Typically, follicular lymphomas are slow to develop and, if correctly diagnosed at an early stage, can be safely treated with the patient suffering very few and mostly insignificant side effects. If your tumour has not developed to the stage where it becomes a hazard to health, there may be little benefit to you by making a claim for compensation for the wrong diagnosis of a follicular lymphoma.

However this form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is rarely curable in its advanced stage. If an initial correct diagnosis would have provided the opportunity to have the tumour treated in the early stages, and the wrong diagnosis now means that the cancer has been allowed to advance to an untreatable stage, you will almost certainly have a substantial claim for follicular lymphoma wrong diagnosis compensation – provided that your doctor´s lack of care by making the wrong diagnosis can be established.

It would be advisable for you to speak with a medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible. The solicitor will be able to arrange for an independent assessment of your condition and a review of your medical history at the time the wrong diagnosis of follicular lymphoma was made. Should it be the unfortunate case that you have suffered an avoidable deterioration of your condition because of your doctor´s mistake, the solicitor will then guide you through the next stages of making a follicular lymphoma wrong diagnosis compensation claim.