Louis Browne KC represents family of woman wrongly given cancer ‘all-clear’ at inquest into her death

December 13, 2023

Louis Browne KC from Exchange Chambers has represented the family of a woman who was mistakenly given the ‘all-clear’ from cancer, at the inquest into her death.

Catherine Jones, a nurse at Wrexham Maelor hospital, had a cyst removed there, but her ovary and fallopian tube should have been removed.

After the operation in 2013, Ms Jones from Hawarden in Flintshire was told there was no need for a follow-up.

But Mrs Jones had cancer, which then progressed unchecked.

She fell ill in 2016 and was referred for an urgent hysterectomy after which cancer in her right ovary was discovered.

Mrs Jones was given the all clear following that operation and told she did not need further treatment, but died from cancer four months later.  She was just 35-years-old.

During the inquest, Louis Browne KC highlighted how there had been a “catalogue of errors” over a three-year period that led to Mrs Jones’ death.

Coroner John Gittins concluded that Mrs Jones’ ovarian cancer was misdiagnosed and her death in 2016 was avoidable.

In recording a narrative verdict, Mr Gittins said Mrs Jones’ death was a “catastrophic outcome”.  He said he would be issuing a prevention of future deaths report that revolved around communication within the board saying he still had concerns that the “right hand did not know what the left hand was doing.”

Following the conclusion of evidence being shared with the Ruthin’s Coroner Court, Mrs Jones’ husband David shared a statement with the inquest. He said: “It is with profound regret, deep sadness and immense sorrow that I could not protect her (Catherine) from her ordeal.”

He continued: “Catherine had enormous potential, so much to offer and so many plans for 2017 and beyond.

“She captured the unbelievable nature of this catastrophe in her own words, ‘At 35, I have not yet lived my life’.”

Mr Jones thanked the coroner for listening to his concerns after her death and opening an inquest.

He said: “Catherine wanted to see those responsible held to account and ensure that actions were taken to prevent others being let down and put at risk.”

Louis Browne KC was instructed by Richard Jones, Director at Mackenzie Jones Solicitors.

Richard Jones said:

“It was, as always, a pleasure to instruct Louis Browne KC.

“His meticulous attention to detail, his ability to identify the crux of complex medical issues and his skilful cross-examination of the Health Board’s many witnesses was instrumental in uncovering their various failures and omissions.

“As a consequence of his six-year fight for justice, our client has now held the Health Board accountable for his wife’s unnecessary and avoidable death.”