Articles Posted in Misdiagnosing Cancer

Over a period of seven years that began in May 2008, Ms. Doe, 50, presented to an HMO complaining of a dime-sized lesion on her right lower leg. Ms. Doe was seen by dermatologists and vascular surgeons. A Doppler study was completed. The doctors dressed the wound and did debridement.

In 2015, a biopsy revealed basal cell carcinoma. Ms. Doe required an extensive incision and suffered significant scarring and muscle loss.

Ms. Doe and her husband sued the HMO alleging that they choose not to timely diagnose the cancer when it was evident. The defendant argued that it had met the standard of care and that its actions had been reasonable considering Ms. Doe’s significant venous insufficiency. There was no claim for lost income.

Hamidan Mahamad underwent an annual gynecological checkup performed by an obstetrician, Dr. Herbert Mosberg, an employee of Hollis Women’s Center. Mahamad was in her middle 60s at the time of this exam. A routine transvaginal ultrasound showed the presence of free fluid in Mahamad’s pelvis, which was not there on previous ultrasounds.

Dr. Mosberg said that the latest test was normal. However, nine months later, Mahamad was diagnosed as having ovarian cancer that had metastasized to her uterus, liver and other organs.

In spite of several rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, Mahamad passed away from her illness about two years later. She is survived by her two adult children.
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Rita DaCosta underwent a Pap smear and HPV test. Her treating gynecologist, Dr. Michelle Olivera, was informed that the test results were abnormal. Dr. Olivera instructed her medical assistant to contact DaCosta and schedule a colposcopy. DaCosta never learned about the test results.

Less than a year later, she met with Dr. Olivera, who had joined a different practice. She reported heavy and irregular bleeding, as well as lower abdominal cramping. Dr. Olivera prescribed birth control pills.

DaCosta, who repeated these complaints when she met with Dr. Olivera the following year, was told that she suffered from five fibroids and that the bleeding resulted from steroid use. DaCosta was referred for fibroid surgery.
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William Mann had a history of smoking. He underwent a routine physical including a chest x-ray, which was interpreted as normal. However, three years later, he was diagnosed as having metastatic lung cancer.

In spite of chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments, including a procedure to reinforce the bones in his back, he died 20 months after the diagnosis. He was 58 years old and was survived by his wife and four adult children at the time of his death.

The Mann family sued the United States alleging that the Veterans Administration (VA) radiologist chose not to identify a suspicious 1.5-centimeter density on the left lung visible on the chest x-ray done three years before Mann’s fatal diagnosis.
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David Robinson, who was in his 30s, found blood in his stool. He went to the office of his primary care physician, Dr. William Elder, where he was seen by a physician assistant, David Lamport. Lamport did a cursory physical examination and diagnosed internal hemorrhoids as the origin of blood in Robinson’s stool.

Unfortunately, eight months later, when Robinson’s symptom of blood in his stool persisted, he underwent a colonoscopy, which showed Stage IV colon cancer; it had spread to his liver.

In spite of cancer treatment, Robinson died within a year. He had been working in his family business earning approximately $90,000 per year. He was survived by his wife and three young daughters.
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Albert Ragin experienced unexplained weight loss and night sweating. At the time he was in his 80s. CT scans without contrast of his chest, abdomen, and pelvis revealed a left kidney cyst, but there were no other kidney abnormalities.

About a year later, in 2013, a renal artery Doppler test showed a possible aortic dissection. Ragin subsequently underwent several CT scans with contrast.

An employee of the defendant in this case, Advanced Radiology, interpreted the CT scans as showing no aortic dissection and no kidney abnormalities except for the several cysts in both kidneys.
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A 6-year-old child suffered from fatigue, constipation, fever, pain and sleeping difficulties for several weeks. The girl was brought to a federal health clinic by her parents. A nurse practitioner examined her, diagnosed constipation and prescribed a suppository and juice. Two days later, a pediatrician confirmed the same misdiagnosis and prescribed MiraLax.

The child’s condition continued to deteriorate. Her parents brought her to the hospital a few days later. At that time, an x-ray showed a massive distension of the child’s spleen and an enlarged liver.

The girl was then life-flighted to another hospital where she was diagnosed as having acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
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Ms. Doe, age 37, developed shortness of breath eight days after giving birth. A CT angiogram to rule out a pulmonary embolism revealed an enlarged right-sided axillary lymph node. Despite this finding, Ms. Doe’s healthcare providers ordered no further follow up. Over a year later, Ms. Doe discovered a lump in her right breast.

Testing of the lump by biopsy of the breast mass and lymph node led to a diagnosis of metastatic Stage IV breast cancer with lung involvement.

Ms. Doe is the mother of three children and a food service worker earning just minimum wage. Sadly, Ms. Doe’s condition at Stage IV is terminal.
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In 2011, a radiologist with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) missed identifying a cancerous mass in the liver of James Avery Deweese. Before the mass was finally diagnosed as cancerous in 2013, it had nearly doubled in size. Deweese died shortly thereafter.

The family of Deweese — through an administrator of his estate — brought a survival and wrongful-death claim against the United States pursuant to the Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA). 28 U.S.C. ¶1346(b)(1).

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for the government holding that although the VA failed to deliver the standard of care in correctly diagnosing and treating Deweese’s cancer, the evidence presented by the Deweese family was insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the VA’s negligence proximately caused the plaintiff’s damages and subsequent death.
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A neuropathologist, Dr. Meena Gujrati, and her employer, Central Illinois Pathology, were named as defendants in a medical-malpractice lawsuit brought by Rebecca Gapinski who alleged that this doctor misdiagnosed Daniel Gapinski’s brain tumor as being benign.

Right before the start of the jury trial, Dr. Gujrati requested permission to proceed with a substitution of counsel. The attorneys for the Gapinski family objected, arguing that the motion was tardy because the case had been pending for three years. However, the Gapinski family accepted a compromise, and the trial judge ruled that the defendants could have separate counsel, separate pleadings and separate experts if they were otherwise barred from double-teaming at trial.

The verdict for Gapinski was $1,727,409. On appeal, Dr. Gujrati and Central Illinois Pathology argued, among other things, that the judge erred in barring “dual representation.”
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