Articles Posted in Cancer Malpractice

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A New York surgeon has settled a medical malpractice case for $1.9. The Plaintiff was only 16 when doctors found a lesion on one of his ribs, more than seven years ago. The tumor was removed in 2001, but the hospital’s attending pediatric surgeon allegedly failed to get all of it. Despite assurances to the contrary, the tissue turned out to be cancerous and spread to three other ribs, said the lawyer. The man had to undergo additional surgeries, radiation treatment, and now is at greater risk for reoccurrence of his cancer. A copy of the article regarding the case can be found here.

I have successfully handled a number of medical malpractice / medical negligence / medical error cases in Baltimore and other counties in Maryland, and in the District of Columbia, involving a failure to timely diagnose and treat cancer. In cases involving tumor resection, it is critical for the surgeon to make sure that what is removed is greater than the area of the tumor’s margin. This is the standard of care in these cases.

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The family of a New York woman who died of a breast tumor in 2004 has been awarded more than $9 million in a medical malpractice case. The jury found that a surgeon failed to properly diagnose the mother of two, allowing her breast tumor to grow and kill her. A copy of the article regarding the case can be found here.

I have successfully handled a number of medical malpractice / medical negligence / medical error cases in Baltimore and other counties in Maryland involving a failure to timely diagnose and treat breast cancer and other cancers. Some of the cases I have handled involved a failure to properly read mammograms (negligent reading of mammograms). Other cases have involved a failure to properly read pathology such as tissue samples on slides from a biopsy.

I have even handled a case involving negligent failure to properly treat cancer, in a medical malpractice case against Kaiser. In that particular case, a woman (who happened to be a judge) was properly diagnosed with lymphoma. She eventually started chemotherapy, which lowered the ability of her immune system to fight infection. After the chemo, but while her immune system still was weakened, she developed a rash from her chemotherapy, for which her doctor negligently prescribed steroids. The problem with prescribing the steroids was that steroids tend to further reduce the immune system’s ability to fight infection and, because they act as strong anti-inflammatories, they reduce fever and make you feel better when you are sick, thereby masking infection. Unfortunately, no one ever told this to the patient, so she did not take precautions against infection (which she had been doing while on chemo). Not surprisingly, she developed an infection and never knew it. Her blood work showed it, but the doctor did not tell her about it. Sadly, one night, she became overwhelmed with meningitis and died before being able to summon help. The jury in that case awarded $2.5M to the woman’s estate and her son.

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An Indiana jury has decided that a medical clinic must pay $2.75 million to a former patient for failing to test a tumor removed from the woman’s foot. A doctor later found that a second tumor removed from the foot was malignant. Jurors awarded an additional $500,000 to the woman’s husband.

This case involves a complete failure to test the first tumor, and the failure to alert the patient to the fact that the tumor wasn’t tested. That is a clear mistake, and is certainly medical negligence according to the standard of care. I have handled a number of cases before where tests were not properly done or interpreted.

In one such medical malpractice case in Maryland, a young girl’s leg was hurting, so her mother took her to a Baltimore hospital to be examined. The doctor didn’t want to do an x-ray, but the mother insisted. After the x-ray, the mother was told that she would be called if the x-ray was abnormal. No one ever called. Over the 8 months, the child’s leg pain got worse. When the mother decided to take her daughter to another hospital for a second opinion. That hospital asked the mother to get a copy of the x-rays from the first hospital. When the mother called the first hospital, they couldn’t find the x-rays. The mother then went to the first hospital in person, to try and get the x-rays. When she got there, she was told that the x-rays were just being read. She didn’t understand, as it has been many months since she and her daughter had been there. On her way to the second hospital, the mother got a call from the first hospital telling her that the x-ray showed evidence of bone cancer. It turned out that the films were never read until the day the mother went to pick up the films. That eight month delay in the bone cancer diagnosis allowed the cancer to spread / metastasize. As a result, the girl died before her 20th birthday. What a tragic case. Obviously, that medical malpractice case settled for a substantial amount.