Thursday, August 25, 2005

Estate Resolves Medical Malpractice Case After Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer Causes Death

The plaintiff had been under the care of the defendant physician for two years when, on January 4, 2001, she reported to his office complaining of a lump in her breast. Additionally, since she was a physician, she reported that she had also examined her own lymph nodes, and could palpate the lymph nodes in her left axilla. The defendant OBGYN advised her that these findings were due to the fact that she had recently lost weight, and he advised her to have her next mammography exam as scheduled and report back following the study.

On April 4, 2001, the plaintiff reported back to the defendant indicating that she still felt the lump in her breast, and still felt palpable lymph nodes. This time, the defendant doctor felt the lump, but indicated that the lump was so small that the plaintiff had nothing to worry about. Having been twice told she was over-reacting, the plaintiff followed her doctor's advice.

The plaintiff returned to the doctor five months later, advising the defendant that she was having pain in the area of her nipple for the last week, and she felt the lump and it appeared to have grown. At this point, the OBGYN referred the plaintiff for an ultrasound, which was read as showing a hypoechoic irregular solid nodule corresponding to palpable abnormality in the breast. The findings were said to be suspicious for malignancy and surgical excision was recommended.

During a workup for postoperative chemotherapy, a CT scan revealed that the plaintiff had multiple liver metastasises. Tragically, the plaintiff was diagnosed with terminal metastatic breast cancer. She passed away during the course of the litigation.

Attorneys Amos Gern and John Ratkowitz resolved the case after discovery concluded.

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