Woman sues lab and doctor, claims $10.4 million dollars for husband’s death

Woman sues lab and doctor, claims $10.4 million dollars for husband’s death

SG Gazette·2018-01-17 17:05

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Nearly $10.4 million in damages from a medical laboratory and pathologist is being sought by the widow of a man who died from skin cancer in 2013.

In a hearing at High Court on Tuesday (16 Jan), 52-year-old Carol Ann Armstrong has alleged that Quest Laboratories and its medical director Tan Hong Wui had been negligent in detecting a malignant tumour. They had used a skin sample taken from her husband Peter Traynor in 2009.

The Singapore-based IT specialist manager with IBM had developed a skin growth on his back that became ulcerous that year.

The general practitioner he visited removed a piece of his skin and sent it to the lab for testing. The result stated that there was “no malignancy”.

More than two years later, Traynor noticed a swelling under his armpit and sought medical attention. Tests then showed the cancer had spread to other parts of his body. The oncologist he saw recalled the 2009 specimen and another pathologist’s report stated the presence of cancer.

Armstrong sued the lab and Dr Tan in 2015. Her lawyer, Edmund Kronenburg, stated that she is seeking $3.3 million in dependency claims and around $5 million for loss of inheritance, which is what her husband would have accumulated if he had lived a longer life, among other amounts.

She stated that had the cancer been diagnosed two years prior, he would have had a 64.4 per cent chance of long term survival. Their alleged negligence had deprived him of two years of medical treatment, she claimed.

The lab’s argument under lawyer Lek Siang Pheng stated that Dr Tan had conducted a proper examination of the specimen, and that even if the cancer had been correctly diagnosed in 2009 and treated immediately, would have made no difference to his survival.

Dr Tan’s argument, represented by lawyer Kang Yixian, stated that three other pathologists who saw the specimen had arrived at different diagnoses, and that a difference in opinion was not negligent practice.

(Image Credit/s: Beyond Career, Practice Suite)

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negligence Health Court Trial Singapore