Virginia (VA) Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Misdiagnosed Or Failure to Diagnose Cancers, Missed Cancer Info | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Our Virginia medical malpractice law firm routinely receive inquiries from clients asking us whether a doctor or hospital has committed medical malpractice by: (1) missing a cancer diagnosis, (2) failing to diagnosis cancer, or (3) delaying in diagnosing cancer when there is clear evidence that the doctor failed to follow medical standards.                                                                                                                
To help patients and their families understand these case scenarios where a doctor or medical professional failed to diagnose a serious illness like cancer, our Virginia medical malpractice lawyers decided to provide info on many types of misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis cases where settlements were achieved or where juries decided medical malpractice occurred in these scenarios.
Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer – $31 Million Jury Verdict

 A law firm represented a woman with Stage IV (incurable) breast cancer. At trial, the lawyers demonstrated that the treating Doctor did not respond appropriately to the patient’s complaint of a lump on her breast. The Doctor advised that since the patient did not have a family history of breast cancer and was young, that the lump was just a cyst and was nothing to worry about. About ten months later, when the lump grew, the patient went to another Doctor who diagnosed breast cancer. The plaintiff’s expert in the field of oncology testified during trial that had the cancer been diagnosed ten months earlier, the patient would have been in either Stage I or II and would have had a good chance of survival.

Failure to Diagnose Lung Cancer – $14 Million Jury Verdict
A law firm based in Illinois won a record $14 million verdict against a doctor who misread x-rays leading to a failure to diagnose lung cancer. Failing to Diagnose Breast Cancer – $6.6 Million Jury Verdict
A Philadelphia jury awarded more than $6.6 million in damages to a woman who sued two doctors for failing to diagnose breast cancer in time to halt its spread to her liver and other vital organs. There was one offer to settle the case, a “high-low” proposal that limited the judgment to an $800,000 maximum and a $300,000 minimum, Barrett said. The proposition was rejected, and plaintiffs stuck to a firm demand of $1.2 million through the trial.
The verdict reflected $6.2 million in pain and suffering by the woman and $471,000 in medical bills. The woman who has relied on the use of a wheelchair since cancer collapsed her spinal column, appeared and testified in the case.
Missed Throat Cancer Diagnosis – $6 Million Jury Verdict
A doctor performed a fiberoptic examination of the inside of a patient’s throat, but this type of fiberoptic examination does not always reveal a small growth. The standard of care, in order to rule out cancer, is to do a follow-up PET scan and fiberoptic examination within three months. The doctor failed to recommend such follow-up. A year later, the patient’s cancer became symptomatic. The cancer was diagnosed and aggressively treated, but it was too late. He died two years later, at age 71. The jury awarded $6 million to the patient’s Estate and his wife in compensation for his wrongful death.
Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer – $15 Million Jury Verdict
A New York jury awarded Stephanie Tesorio $15 million after determining that her doctor was negligent in failing to diagnose her breast cancer. In 2002, Tesorio discovered a lump in her breast and had a mammogram to determine whether it was cancer. Dr. Paul Fisher reviewed the mammogram but after determining no malignancy existed, failed to order more tests. He told Tesorio to return in a year. Over the course of the next several months the lump continued to grow. When Tesorio returned 16 months later the lump had increased to the size of a golf ball and a different doctor determined it was breast cancer. Tesorio then underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Although the cancer went into remission for a time, it returned in her bones. The law firm that represented Ms. Tesorio recognized the magnitude of this missed diagnosis and convinced a jury that the woman was wrong.
Missed Breast Cancer Diagnosis Case – $3 Million Jury Verdict
A woman had yearly mammograms from 1991 through 1993 that were all interpreted as normal by a local radiology group. In 1994, during a yearly gynecological examination, it was brought to the attention of her health care provider that she felt lumps in her right breast. A mammogram was ordered and interpreted as normal by the same radiology group as her prior mammograms. In 1996, the woman contacted her health care provider with complaints of bloody nipple discharge in her right breast. Testing was performed, including a mammogram and ultrasound, which demonstrated a lesion approximately 2.5 to 3 centimeters in size.
The woman’s missed diagnosis injury lawyers argued that, because the X-Ray association failed to properly interpret the radiological studies, her breast cancer went undiagnosed and untreated from at least December of 1993 through January of 1996. Due to the delay in the detection of  her breast cancer, she was forced to undergo a surgical radical mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, including skin grafting. The surgeries resulted in a delay in her chemotherapy, necessitating a prolonged and potent course of chemotherapy.

We hope you found these case results helpful. These cases illustrate how important it is to have timely, thorough  diagnoses when breast exams are performed.  Too often, Doctors and radiologists are rushed when performing these important examinations.  

Our Virginia misdiagnosis injury law firm posts these types of articles to help inform the general public about important medical malpractice issues. If you have any questions about your particular situation, feel free to contact our office or check out this article which goes into further detail aboutmedical malpractice and missed diagnoses.