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Misinterpreted mammogram led to failure to diagnose cancer

Most women in Pennsylvania dread undergoing certain medical procedures, including mammograms. However, they do so despite their discomfort in order to ensure that they are healthy. Unfortunately, one out-of-state woman claims that a radiologist's inaccurate reading of her mammogram results led to the failure to diagnose her breast cancer. A jury recently found her claims to be valid.

The woman, who is now 47 years old, claims that she underwent a mammogram in 2008. Court documents indicate that the test revealed an abnormality that should have warranted immediate follow-up. However, the radiologist who reviewed the results -- and who is a defendant in the lawsuit -- did not recommend that she follow up immediately. The woman was ultimately diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.

Unfortunately, the woman is only expected to live another year or two. According to the evidence presented at trial, if she had been diagnosed in 2008, she would have had an 80 to 100 percent chance of surviving the cancer. A jury has recently agreed with the woman's claims of medical malpractice, awarding $6.9 million in damages. The defendants claim that the accepted standard of care was met.

While everyone makes mistake, medical malpractice -- including errors that lead to the failure to diagnose a serious illness -- can have fatal consequences. Successfully litigating a medical malpractice lawsuit, as this woman has done, can serve several purposes. In addition to helping victims in Pennsylvania cope with loss of wages and medical expenses, it can prompt medical personnel to make important changes that will ultimately protect future patients.

Source: thestate.com, "Columbia lawyers win $6.9 million verdict for breast cancer patient in claimed misdiagnosis in Charleston", John Monk, Jan. 22, 2016

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