Janice Rowland, 59, underwent a Pap smear that was interpreted as normal. Two and half years later, she developed post-menopausal bleeding and pelvic pain. She then underwent a cervical biopsy. The biopsy led to a diagnosis of metastatic cervical cancer, and she died several months later. Rowland was survived by her husband.
On behalf of her estate, her husband sued Quest Diagnostics, which was the company that misread the Pap smear. It was alleged in the lawsuit that its cytotechnologist misinterpreted the Pap smear slides. If read correctly, the slide would have showed evidence of cancer and necessitated review by a pathologist. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.
The jury signed a verdict for $4 million. However, it was reported that post-trial motions are pending.