Jury Awards $15 Million in Medical Malpractice Misdiagnosis Case
I fear misdiagnosis cases a lot. This is particularly because of the statute of limitations and its unforgiving nature in situations like this. Whereas there are exceptions in the statute of limitations for continuing treatment of that condition (which once misdiagnosed, that isn’t the case anymore) and the foreign object discover rule, in misdiagnosis cases these exceptions don’t work. More importantly, if a doctor misdiagnoses the condition, that mistake might not manifest itself until after the statute of limitations expires! Meaning, the patient cannot sue!
The other scary thing about misdiagnosis cases is that they usually are cancer cases, where the patient’s condition COULD HAVE BEEN treated effectively if the cancer was caught early. But since there was a misdiagnosis, that is not the case and the patient is put in a position that leaves them worse off than they were.
In this New York case, a forty-year-old woman believed she felt a small lump in her breast during a self-exam, and went to her doctor. She was referred for a mammogram and underwent one. The radiologist treating her looked at the scans, and believed she had a clogged milk duct and it would just go away with him. But this lump didn’t just go away. In fact, it continued to grow and, a little over a year after her diagnosis, she went to the doctor again. At this time she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Because her breast cancer had not been treated in time, it had actually metabolized—or spread—to her lymph nodes. She immediately underwent a mastectomy and began a radiation and chemotherapy routine. However, because of the advanced stages of this cancer, it spread to her bloodstream and to her bones. As noted at trial—and looking at the facts of the spread of cancer—she might not live for much longer.
After an emotional trial where her attorney argued that the doctor’s negligence resulted in her increased her, the jury returned a $15 million dollar verdict for her! This was based on the misdiagnosis of the radiologist, but also for the failure to properly follow-up on the patient’s condition.
I think this is absolutely the right decision. As $15 million sounds like a lot of money, because it really is, this patient and her family are completely changed now. Her life might end because of the doctor’s negligence. There is no price for human life; no amount of money can possibility bring a life back. That is why the large award is to pay for all of her treatment, medical bills, and anything else that can help to rectify the mistakes by her doctor. This also serves as a deterrent to her doctor and radiologist and others as well to make sure they properly do their job and, when in doubt, as for a second opinion.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.