- Cancer—causation and the role of statistical data (King (as personal representative of the estate of King, deceased) v South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Personal Injury analysis: Courts are familiar with the use of medical literature and published statistical data when assessing the causative consequences of substandard clinical care. In this case, the court was invited to consider a single issue: on the balance of probabilities, at the date on which the deceased’s cancer should have been diagnosed (June 2016), was there local (lymph node) metastasis? If not, the deceased had stage I disease carrying an agreed survival of eight years; if yes, the cancer was stage III, with a predicted survival of two and a half years. The parties had agreed quantum based on each scenario. This article considers the court’s approach to statistical data, the weight to be attached to medical literature, the importance of factual evidence particular to an individual and the importance of expert evidence. Written by Andrew Axon, barrister at Parklane Plowden Chambers, Leeds and Newcastle, instructed by Armstrong Foulkes Solicitors for the claimant.
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