BY Christopher Mangum
December 07 2009 4:55 PM ET
A U.K. lesbian who lost her partner following a hospital error has won a landmark compensation payout.
Liz Austin (pictured left), was awarded an undisclosed amount from the Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare National Health Service Trust and Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust for negligence in their care of Austin’s partner, Tina Lane (pictured, right).
In 2005, Lane entered a hospital complaining of stomach pain. Unfortunately, an employee filed away a fax that revealed she had a tumor. As a result, Lane’s tumor was not removed as early as it might have been, and she died of ovarian cancer on February 7, 2009, at the age of 42.
According to the Daily Mail, the Winchester trust apologized on behalf of both organizations:
“Each trust has investigated this matter extensively with a view to ensuring that the quality of their [health care] services continually improve so as to avoid similar tragic cases. The trust was unable to establish who was responsible for filing the scan results in the patient notes, but it is thought to have been a temp. As a result of this case enhanced induction training has been implemented for temporary admin and clerical staff to ensure a similar thing does not happen again.”
The case is believed to mark the first time a civil partner in England has been awarded compensation for medical negligence since the passage of a law that provides civil partners similar rights as married couples.
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