On April 9, 2015, a Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $5.7 million after three days of jury deliberations following the medical malpractice/wrongful death trial that began on March 30, 2015. The plaintiff was the husband of a 51-year-old woman who died on June 5, 2012; the jury determined that the woman’s death was due to the medical negligence of her treating physician, who failed to timely diagnose her liver cancer.
The Underlying Facts
The plaintiff’s wife was concerned about enlarged lymph nodes and the possibility that she had lymphoma. A CT scan performed in September 2007 showed a 1.9 centimeter lesion of her liver, for which she was referred to the defendant physician for diagnosis and treatment. The defendant physician did not order a liver biopsy during a follow-up visit on April 9, 2008 because he believed that a biopsy was unnecessary at that time. On August 28, 2009, the defendant physician recommended “watchful waiting” and if she did not have symptoms in the interim, another liver scan should be done in 2010. However, the second CT scan was never scheduled.
On May 3, 2011, the woman had a CT scan performed at the Mayo Clinic. That CT scan showed a grossly enlarged liver that had an 11 centimeter malignant tumor.
The plaintiff’s Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that had the woman’s liver cancer been diagnosed earlier, she would have made a full recovery after receiving timely, appropriate medical treatment.
Liver Cancer Statistics
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015, there will be about 35,660 new cases diagnosed (25,510 in men and 10,150 in women), and about 24,550 people (17,030 men and 7,520 women) will die from, primary liver cancer and intrahepatic bile duct cancer in the United States. The lifetime risk of an average man getting liver or intrahepatic bile duct cancer is about 1 in 81; for women, the risk is about 1 in 196.
Outside of the United States, liver cancer is much more common in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In many of these countries, it is the most common type of cancer (more than 700,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer every year worldwide and it is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide (more than 600,000 deaths each year)).
Cancer Misdiagnosis Statistics
Studies have shown that cancer misdiagnosis occurs between 15% to 28% of the time – about 1 in 5 cancer patients. The common causes of cancer misdiagnosis are inadequate patient examination, failure to order an indicated test, technological error during a test, misinterpretation of a test, or the failure to act on an abnormal test result
If you or a loved one were injured (or worse) due to the failure to timely diagnose cancer in Pennsylvania or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a local medical malpractice attorney in Pennsylvania or in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical negligence claim and/or cancer claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice/cancer case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice lawyers in Pennsylvania or in your U.S. state who may assist you with your claim.
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