State Supreme Court Reverses Dismissal of Misdiagnosis of Cancer of Both Ovaries Without Consent

In an effort designed to increase the chances of conception, Lacy Dodd underwent surgery to remove ovarian cysts and potentially one fallopian tube. During this surgery, her physician, Dr. Randall Hines, discovered that both of her ovaries appeared to be abnormal to the extent that they seemed to be cancerous.

Because of the seriousness of that diagnosis, Dr. Hines consulted, intraoperatively with his colleague, Dr. Paul Seago.

Dr. Seago concluded that both ovaries lacked any appreciable amount of normal tissue, which made them both highly suspicious for malignancy. Dr. Seago recommended that it was in Dodd’s best interest to remove both ovaries. Dr. Hines agreed and removed the ovaries.

A later biopsy showed that the ovaries were not in fact cancerous. Dodd and her husband, Charles Dodd, filed a pro se complaint against both Dr. Hines and Dr. Seago, as well as the Mississippi Reproductive Medicine, PLLC. The lawsuit claimed that the ovaries were removed without her consent and also alleged that these defendants were negligent in choosing not to obtain informed consent from her and/or her family to proceed with the surgery before removing both ovaries. In addition, it was alleged that these defendants failed to test tissues and analyze the results. The defendants were also alleged to have been negligent in misdiagnosing the ovaries as being malignant.

The trial judge found that Dodd had consented to the removal of her ovaries based on a consent form that she signed prior to the surgery and granted summary judgment in favor of all of the defendants. Despite the sole issue of consent before the trial judge, a final judgment was entered with respect to all of the claims alleged in her lawsuit.

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, it was determined that Dodd’s claim was “battery-based” and held that she did not give express consent for the removal of her ovaries. It was held that the consent form did not summarily provide consent to remove her ovaries.

With the appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court, the supreme court panel agreed with the result reached by the Court of Appeals holding that there is a genuine issue of material fact precluding summary judgment as to whether she consented to the removal of her ovaries in accordance with the court’s decisions in other state supreme court cases. Accordingly, the trial court’s judgment was reversed and the matter sent back for further proceedings.

Dodd v. Hines, No. 2015-CT-00334-SCT, Supreme Court of Mississippi (Sept. 14, 2017).

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling birth trauma injury lawsuits, wrongful death cases, misdiagnosis of cancer lawsuits and physician negligence cases for individuals, families and the loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Palos Park, Chicago Ridge, Lemont, Lansing, Harvey, Oak Forest, Prospect Heights, Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Northfield, Highwood, Palatine, Chicago (Belmont Heights, Jefferson Park, Edgebrook, Pulaski Park, North Park, Brighton Park, Stockyards, Canaryville, Pilsen, Chinatown), Evergreen Park and Hickory Hills, Ill.

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