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Failure to diagnose cancer leads to death, jury issues award

When people begin to exhibit signs of an illness, they might seek treatment for those symptoms. There is a general expectation that doctors will diagnose the cause of the symptoms and treat the cause accordingly. In a perfect world, that series of events would occur whenever someone needs medical care. We don't, however, live in a perfect world and medical professionals sometimes make errors that lead to dire consequences. Kentucky readers might like to know about a recent award made by a jury in another state pertaining to a woman's death.

The woman's daughter opted to file a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her mother for failure to diagnose cancer. The woman sought medical care at a hospital. She received an x-ray while at the hospital. That x-ray was determined to be normal by the doctor.

As it turns out, the woman had lung cancer. It was diagnosed 13 months after the trip to the hospital. Around two years later, the woman died of lung cancer.

The radiologist's attorney asserts that his client read the x-ray in an appropriate manner. He says they will seek a new trial. As it stands now, the woman's daughter has received a $16.7 million award from a jury in connection with the failure to diagnose.

This case shows that when a doctor fails to diagnose a condition, dire consequences can follow when the failure to diagnose leads to a delay in treatment. Anyone who has been adversely affected by a failure to diagnose has the right to follow this complainant's lead and seek compensation for that oversight.

Source: MassLive, "Jury awards $16.7M in Boston medical malpractice suit," June 30, 2014

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