A Maryland medical malpractice jury took only ninety minutes to deliberate on September 21, 2017 before finding in favor of a 47-year-old woman in the amount of $1 million in a Maryland medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendant physician who performed her hysterectomy breached the standard of care in failing to appropriately follow up when the physician was made aware of suspicious pathology findings, and the plaintiff was diagnosed several years later with stage IV lung cancer that originated from her uterus.
Due to Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages in Maryland medical malpractice claims, the jury’s award of damages will be reduced to $695,000. Experts who testified during the Maryland medical malpractice trial estimated that the plaintiff’s life expectancy is an additional one or two years.
The defendant gynecologist had performed a hysterectomy on the plaintiff in September 2011, when the plaintiff was 41-years-old. The pathology report regarding the hysterectomy warned of a possible malignant tumor and recommended close clinical follow-up. The plaintiff alleged in her Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit that the defendant gynecologist never advised her of the pathology results, never arranged for a follow-up appointment regarding the pathologist’s findings (the plaintiff had a follow up appointment with the defendant gynecologist two months after her hysterectomy, but alleged that the follow up was not with regard to the pathology findings), and never referred her to an gynecological oncologist, which the plaintiff alleged were breaches of the standard of care.
The defendant gynecologist alleged that she did inform the plaintiff regarding the pathology report and that she did prepare a cover letter so that pathology slides could be forwarded to a specialist, but she allegedly did not make sure that the letter and slides were sent to the specialist and she did not refer the woman to a specialist.
In February 2014, the plaintiff developed a cough and was sent for radiological scans. The results of the scans showed that she had nodules on her lungs that were consistent with metastatic disease. The plaintiff was referred to a medical specialist, who then requested information regarding the September 2011 hysterectomy from the defendant gynecologist. The defendant gynecologist allegedly was unable to produce her entire four-page operative report (only two pages were sent to the specialist) and allegedly advised the specialist that she did not follow up after the woman’s hysterectomy because she did not have any concerns.
The plaintiff was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer that the specialist was able to determine originated in the woman’s uterus. The woman was required to undergo chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, which treatments continue at the present time.
The type of lung cancer the plaintiff has is difficult to treat, which led to the defense arguing that the defendant’s medical negligence, if any, did not contribute to her poor prognosis.
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