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£1.2million payout for undiagnosed tumour

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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BBC News has reported a 20-year-old woman grew to be 6ft 5ins tall because of the effect on her growth of an undiagnosed tumour in her pituitary gland.

Kate Woodward had explained to the High Court that she felt like a ‘freak’ and her abnormal growth was left untreated between October 2001 and September 2005.

Miss Woodward had wanted to be an actress but she felt the abnormal growth was effectively getting uglier, to the point where she could not become an actress.

The Defendant, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust admitted clinical negligence but disputed the amount of damages, arguing an amount of just under £700,000 was reasonable.

Judge Stuart Baker explained that Miss Woodward, who now weighs in the region of 24 stone, had undoubtedly been severely affected and would always be very different from what she might otherwise reasonably have expected to look forward to.

As a result of the negligence, Miss Woodward’s self-esteem was very low and she described herself as ‘a cross between a Michelin man and a stretched-out doll.’

Judge Baker explained he could not take into account her future loss of earnings as an actress as it was an uncertain profession. Nevertheless, he decided a substantial amount of damages was necessary and awarded Miss Woodward just over £1.2 million.

By Sarah Fairclough

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