You know the punchline.

The 62-year-old said he was told by doctors at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske that he only had a short time left to live.

So he quit his job and stopped paying his mortgage, instead splashing out on a lavish lifestyle of hotels, restaurants and holidays.

Then the hospital told him that he was actually suffering from non-fatal pancreatitis.

Mr Brandrick said that in the year he thought he was dying he spent everything and now he faces losing his house.

He’s suing, naturally. The hospital insists there was no negligence, that when he was diagnosed it looked like pancreatic cancer.

Expect a modest settlement here, not because he has a case (he probably doesn’t) but because the bad publicity of not only a misdiagnosis but a misdiagnosis that ends up putting an old man out on the street would be horrendous for the hospital. They’ll probably pay off the mortgage payments he missed so that he can keep his house and then he’ll make up some of the rest in charity from people who read about him and want to help him out. Either that or he’ll end up in a cardboard box consoling himself with a bottle of whiskey and the fact that at least his pancreas is robust.

Obvious exit question: Should he win the suit? He’s got a potential action in equity, but he can’t show that the hospital knew (let alone intended or induced) that he’d go out and crack his nest egg. I think he’s looking at a little bit of jack and a whole lot of squat.

Update: I’m thinking this story is going to turn up on Red Eye tonight, and I’m also thinking that Rachel’s going to take the hardline “jack squat” position. Who wants to bet me?