Cancer on its own is a very scary prospect. You need all of your strength and support to fight this terrible disease. Unfortunately, some patients have to play at a disadvantage because their doctors misdiagnose their condition. This is malpractice plain and simple. Here is how successful some plaintiffs were in recovering for this misconduct, broken down by cancer type in Illinois and other jurisdictions to give you an idea as to how these cases are valued:
2013; NEW YORK; BREAST CANCER; $2,250,000 JURY AWARD:
A woman in this case had a family history of breast cancer. So when she went in to see an oncologist and pathologist they were quick to judge the lumps in her breasts as invasive breast cancer. They recommended surgery to remove the lumps and, consequently, the breasts via a mastectomy.
The woman later contended that her disease was a noninvasive form of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) that did not require surgery. She sued for this misdiagnosis and a jury awarded her $2,250,000 in damages.
2012; ILLINOIS; BREAST CANCER; $950,000:
The patient in this case was advised to go to the emergency room to be treated for a lump in her breast. She had had a history of having a lump in her breast, but she told doctors that she thought it was actually declining in size. Nevertheless, doctors ordered a full battery of tests to determine if it was malignant.
Without completely confirming that it was malignant, or seeking a second opinion, the pathologist ordered a mastectomy. Her lumps were later determined not to be malignant or invasive. She sued the doctors and hospital for this unnecessary procedure and removal of her left breast. The defendants argued that their judgment was reasonable in the circumstances and that accidents happen. The jury showed them no mercy. They gave the plaintiff $950,000 for the following damages:
- Pain and suffering:
- Loss of normal life:
- Loss of Services:
2012; LOUISIANA; BREAST CANCER; $964,487 JURY AWARD:
The patient in this case felt a lump emerge in her breast one June day. However, as the next few weeks passed, she thought it went down so she decided against visiting the doctor. By the end of year, it was back so she went to see her physicians.
They performed a biopsy and determined that it was an infiltrating ductal carcinoma grade I. In other words, invasive breast cancer. They immediately recommended and completed a mastectomy on the affected breast. Interestingly, nearly two years later, a medical panel reviewing this work determined that the mass was not malignant and, therefore, the treatment to remove the breast was not needed. The patient took these findings to court and established that her doctors were negligent in this treatment. A jury awarded her $964,487 for the following damages:
2015; NEW YORK; SKIN CANCER; $3,706,000:
This controversy involved a middle-aged man who went to see the doctor because he was concerned about a mole on his body. Doctors did a biopsy but found there was no malignancy or anything to be worried about so they sent him home.
One year later, still troubled by the mole, he sought the advice of another doctor. This physician did a biopsy and found that in fact there was cancer and that it had spread to his lungs.
The man sued the first doctor and the hospital for this misdiagnosis as well as the lost chance at recovery that he had because of this delay. The jury awarded him $3,706,000. Interestingly, $450,000 of this amount was earmarked for his wife for the loss of services she would suffer because of these events.
2014; FLORIDA; SKIN CANCER; $300,000 SETTLEMENT:
A man in his middle fifties noticed skin changes on his body and sought medical attention. His doctor, who was not a dermatopathologist, told him that he had squamous cell carcinoma and recommended a course of treatment for it.
About one year later, after a biopsy was performed, it was determined that he actually had malignant melanoma. This would require a completely different court of treatment. The man sued the doctor for this misdiagnosis and for the lost chance of recovery that he suffered because of it. Both sides settled out of court for $300,000.
2013; ILLINOIS; SKIN CANCER; $475,000 SETTLEMENT:
The doctors in this case completely blew it. A woman rushed into the hospital when she realized that a mass on her skin was not abating. Doctors instructed her that it was merely an infection or rash and prescribed her medication.
When it did not subside, she sought medical attention again and different doctors determined that it was in fact cancer. For this misdiagnosis, she sued the original physicians for medical malpractice. She claimed that this lost time reduced her chances at recovery. Both sides decided to settle for $475,000.
2008; ILLINOIS; UTERINE CANCER; $2,000,000:
The patient in this incident underwent a hysterectomy to alleviate various medical conditions. However, she contended that before the procedure doctors failed to realize she had uterine cancer and, therefore, failed to address the issue during surgery.
Because of this lapse in treatment, the cancer metastasized throughout her body. She sued for the misdiagnosis and deficient treatment. The doctors alleged that the cancer was not present in her body when they treated her and developed and spread after the hysterectomy was performed. They could not find agreement so the matter went to trial. The jury awarded the woman $2,000,000 for the misdiagnosis and lost recovery time.
2013; MASSACHUSETTS; UTERINE CANCER; $1,750,000 SETTLEMENT:
This controversy began when a woman underwent surgery to remove polyps from her body. These are growths that attach to the lining of the uterus. They are normally not dangerous if seen and take care of promptly. However, the woman later alleged that the doctors should have noticed that she also had uterine cancer.
When it was eventually discovered six months later, it had already aggressively spread throughout her body including to her lungs and she was diagnosed with Stave IV uterine sarcoma. She sued the treating physicians for malpractice. Her suit alleged that the misdiagnosis cost her a decent shot at recovery. The doctors claimed that this was a rare and aggressive form of cancer that did not emerge or fan out until after their treatment ended. However, they still preferred settlement to trial and the plaintiff agreed to end the suit for $1,750,000.
2013; MARYLAND; UTERINE CANCER; $1,070,636 JURY AWARD:
A woman in her early twenties went to the emergency room when she was having abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. Doctors informed her that she was in the first trimester of pregnancy. In consultation with her medical providers, she decided to terminate the pregnancy.
Unfortunately, these doctors failed to realize and failed to inform the woman that she also had uterine cancer. The delay in treating this disease allowed it to spread to her lungs. She sued her physicians for malpractice because of the misdiagnosis and lack of treatment.
The defendants rejected any wrongdoing and contended that they met the relevant level of care. The jury disagreed. They awarded the young woman $1,070,636 in damages.