Is it Normal for Doctors to Miss a Cancer Diagnosis?

Posted on August 04, 2014 by Shapiro Law Group


We expect doctors to do their jobs correctly. They have our lives in their hands, and when they perform sloppy work or fail to follow up on potential warning signs, people can die.

This is why doctors continue their education long after med school ends. They need to stay up to date on new technology and the best practices for treating and preventing serious illnesses. The more advanced medical technology becomes, the fewer excuses they have when things go wrong at hospitals.

As such, if they ignore an enormous red flag, they could be liable for the damage that results. A jury verdict recently agreed that a doctor should have noticed that a patient’s X-ray indicated the early stages of cancer. The patient in question died in 2008, and her daughter filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on her behalf.

Can I File a Lawsuit on Behalf of a Deceased Family Member?

Her mother visited the Boston hospital in 2006 complaining of chest pains. She was diagnosed with a respiratory infection. She came back a year later with persistent symptoms. It turns out that she had lung cancer, which by then had spread throughout her body. She died seven months later at the age of 47.

The suit claims that the treating radiologist should have noticed the 1.5 centimeter nodule in the patient’s lungs and treated her accordingly. By the time she came back, it had nearly doubled in size, and many other nodules had also appeared. A jury agreed with the patient’s daughter and awarded $16.7 million in wrongful death damages due to the pain and suffering she went through near the end of her life.

“Lung cancer is a bad way to die, and she suffered significantly,” her attorney said.

Shapiro Law GroupMedical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area

Did You Know: Cancer misdiagnosis rates are as high as 28 percent, according to a study in BMJ Quality and Safety.


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