Melissa Avilez suffered from breast lumps and pain. She consulted a certified nurse midwife, Kerry-Ann Dacosta, who worked for Urban Health Plan, a federally funded clinic.
Although Avilez sought treatment from Nurse Dacosta nine times in 2015 and 2016, she was not referred to a breast surgeon.
In 2017, Avilez was diagnosed as having metastatic cancer. Before she died at age 26, Avilez sued Nurse Dacosta and the United States under the Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA) alleging that the nurse midwife, Dacosta, chose not to follow up on her breast findings, perform a breast exam; refer Ms. Avilez to a breast surgeon; or order radiological testing, including an ultrasound.