Cancer patient receives £178k for 'fungal nail' misdiagnosis

Peter Cosgrove Image copyright Nevile Ayling
Image caption Peter Cosgrove has been advised he may have as little as 10 months left to live

A musician dying from skin cancer has won nearly £180,000 in damages after his GP misdiagnosed his condition as a fungal nail infection.

The misdiagnosis could have cut 60-year-old Peter Cosgrove's life short by 20 years, London's High Court heard.

He saw his GP, Dr Asaad Al-Doori, in Devon about a nail problem in September 2011 but signs of malignancy were missed, the court heard.

It worsened and he was diagnosed with cancer by another doctor in June 2012.

Mr Cosgrove, of Market Street, Hatherleigh, sued Dr Al-Doori who practised at Blake House Surgery in Black Torrington, claiming his negligence cost him years of life.

'Previous good record'

Mr Justice Goss said: "The disease will cause his death, the latest prognosis is that he may have 10-30 months of life left."

Experts agreed that "it was an abnormal nail and suggestive of malignancy" at the initial GP visit and that "its appearance was not consistent with fungal infection".

Despite his "previous good clinical record", the judge ruled that Dr Al-Doori should have referred Mr Cosgrove for further investigation on that day.

"In failing to do so, he fell below the required degree of skill and competence of a reasonable practitioner", he ruled.

The delay in referring Mr Cosgrove for specialist treatment meant the patient underwent surgery almost 10 months after he would otherwise have done.

Mr Cosgrove, a carpenter by trade, was awarded a total of £178,845 in damages, including £70,000 for his pain and suffering, and £5,000 towards his funeral costs.

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