On May 19, 2015, a Maine medical malpractice jury found in favor of the husband and wife plaintiffs and against the defendant hospital, determining that the 63-year-old wife was entitled to $5.65 million in damages for her cancer misdiagnosis (the failure to timely diagnose cervical cancer) and that her husband was entitled to $2 million in damages for his loss of consortium claim. The couple had filed their Maine medical malpractice case in 2013 against the defendant hospital that had employed the negligent medical provider.
The plaintiffs’ Maine medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that a technician employed by the hospital negligently misread and failed to identify the woman’s cervical cancer from slides that were prepared to conjunction with the woman’s annual, routine vaginal examinations, from 2008 through 2011 (the woman had complaints regarding pain but the reports regarding the slides stated each time that there was no evidence of malignancy). The plaintiffs alleged that the hospital technician had failed to detect the malignancy observable in the slides and that the woman had early stage cervical cancer in 2008. By 2011, when her cervical cancer was finally diagnosed, it had progressed over time to Stage III. Fortunately for the plaintiffs, the woman’s cancer has been in remission.
After the Maine medical malpractice jury rendered its verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, the defendant hospital issued a statement that it “is obviously disheartened with the jury’s decision, stands by the care provided to our patients, and will review options for next steps with respect to this case. The hospital is pleased that [the woman] reports she is disease-free almost four years from her initial diagnosis and that she continues to receive care at [the defendant hospital].”
The word “cancer” strikes debilitating fear in the hearts of most people who are diagnosed with the disease. It is even more emotionally devastating when someone learns that they have cancer that should have been diagnosed earlier, when it would have been easier to treat, with less invasive treatment, and/or with a greater likelihood of a cure.
The misdiagnosis of cancer, or the late diagnosis of cancer, is often alleged in cancer medical malpractice claims. An important issue in such cases is whether the earlier, correct diagnosis of cancer would have made a significant difference in the outcome for the patient – some cancers are so aggressive and deadly that a cancer diagnosis at an earlier stage would not have resulted in a significantly better outcome for the patient. Other times, a timely diagnosis of cancer would have made all the difference in the world for the patient – the difference between life and death.
If you or a loved one were injured as a result of the misdiagnosis of cancer in Maine or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly consult with a Maine medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state, who may investigate your cancer misdiagnosis claim for you and represent you in a cancer malpractice case, if appropriate.
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