A woman who suffered through years of unnecessary major surgery after an incorrect breast cancer diagnosis today won £345,222 High Court damages.

A woman who suffered through years of unnecessary major surgery after an incorrect breast cancer diagnosis today won £345,222 High Court damages.

Jennifer Cormack, 63, lost her career as a child nurse manager because of the devastating stress of what she had been told was a terminal condition.

After the misdiagnosis by doctor Colin Berry - now Sir Colin Berry - at The London Hospital in December 1985, Mrs Cormack, who had a history of benign breast lumps, underwent 14 operations.

They included a double mastectomy, seven reconstructive breast procedures, a partial thryroidectomy and two hernia repairs.

She also had a full hysterectomy after problems with the cancer drug Tamoxifen and one of her silicone implants burst.

Nine years later - in November 1994 - that the mother-of-two discovered that there was nothing wrong with her.

Mrs Cormack, of Kenninghall, Norwich, sued East London and the City Health Authority for their negligent treatment.

Her claim included sums for loss of earnings, loss of pension rights, the cost of care and the pain and suffering she endured.

The authority admitted liability and causation but disputed the amount of compensation due.

Mr Justice Buckley said he assumed that appropriate inquiry and action had been instigated by the proper medical authority into the incident.

He added that a report had concluded that there was a "series of indefensible misdiagnoses" which indicated a level of competence insufficient for a candidate to have passed the original primary examination for membership of the Royal College of Pathologists.

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