On June 13, 2013, a Maine medical malpractice jury awarded a now 47-year-old man $200,000 for his severe emotional trauma due to his physician misdiagnosing his cancer as a much more aggressive form of pancreatic cancer (stage 4) rather than the more treatable non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that he actually had. The man’s medical malpractice lawyer had asked the jury to award $150,000 in damages.
The man had been told by a physician at a Maine hospital in April 2009 that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer that would end his life in the matter of months. The devastating news led to the excruciating and overwhelming fear of his impending death and how his wife would survive financially after his death; he left his work as an animal control officer in order to prepare for his painful death.
The man was living day-to-day, moment-to-moment during April and May 2009, thinking that his days were numbered and that death would result in the matter of months, before he was advised that there had been a misdiagnosis told to him and that while he had cancer, his cancer was a much less serious form of cancer that was treatable and is known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The man’s medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the physician who had told him that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer failed to obtain the pathology results before he told the man his incorrect diagnosis and that the physician had misinterpreted the CT scan results.
Obviously the man felt that a tremendous burden and weight had been lifted from his shoulders when he was advised of the less serious, correct diagnosis months later, but the relief he felt upon learning the (relatively) good news could not overcome the emotional toll suffered by the man due to the cancer misdiagnosis. As the man’s medical malpractice lawyer stated after the jury returned its favorable verdict, “There are some things you have to get right the first time.”
Now, before some of you think, “The man finds out the good news that his medical diagnosis is not as serious as he first thought and then he sues his physician? What a frivolous lawsuit!”, think about the effect a serious medical misdiagnosis in your life (whether involving you or a close family member) would have on you and your family: if you were told that your young child had a disease that would take his life in less than a year, how emotionally devastating would that be on you and your family? If you were misdiagnosed and told that you would die in less than a year, how would you tell that to your young daughter; how would your daughter handle that world-ending information?
If you or a family member were the victim of a medical misdiagnosis that caused harm to you and/or your family, you may be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional injuries suffered as a result of the misdiagnosis. You should promptly contact a local medical malpractice attorney in your state who may be able to assist you by investigating your medical misdiagnosis claim for you and file a medical malpractice claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or call us on our toll free line (800-295-3959) to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be willing to help you with your medical malpractice claim.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.