$18 Million Jury Verdict in Late Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

Kerri Downes, 22, discovered a lump in her right breast while showering. She went to Axia Women’s Health, where she was seen by a nurse practitioner, Eileen Carpenter. Carpenter diagnosed fibrocystic breast changes, and a follow-up exam was scheduled for two weeks later.

At this appointment, Carpenter again diagnosed bilateral fibrocystic changes. Approximately nine months later, Downes experienced itching and burning of the skin over her breast. She consulted a physician, who noticed that Downes’s right breast was larger than her left and that she had a mass in her right breast.

An ultrasound and a biopsy led to a diagnosis of Stage IIB breast cancer, with metastasis to three lymph nodes. Downes underwent a bilateral mastectomy with lymph node dissection, chemotherapy and radiation as well as breast reconstruction. Downes is now 26 and has a reduced chance of survival.

Downes sued Carpenter, alleging that Carpenter chose not to order an ultrasound and mammogram, which would have led to a timely breast cancer diagnosis. As a result of the nine-month delay in diagnosing Downes’s cancer, Downes asserted she required aggressive chemotherapy, more extensive surgery and more extended radiation.

Downes now has significantly reduced life expectancy.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury signed a verdict in favor or Downes for $18 million.

The attorneys successfully handling this case for Downes were Matthew A. Casey, Jennifer L. Russell and Gregory N. Haroutounian.

Downes v. Carpenter, No. 2019-12863-PL (Pa. Ct. Com. Pl. Chester County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling misdiagnosis of breast cancer lawsuits, medical malpractice cases, birth trauma injury lawsuits, and nursing negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Northbrook, Bannockburn, Highwood, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg, Addison, Villa Park, River Forest, Chicago (Lower West Side, Little Village, West Garfield Park, Park West, Streeterville, South Loop, Uptown, Rogers Park, West Ridge, Edgewater), Morton Grove, Niles and Des Plaines, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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