When a surgeon attempts to remove a malignant mass, a basic medical principle dictates that the malignancy should be completely removed. Failure to do so allows remaining cancer cells to spread and cause severe physical and emotional pain. Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. (SPBMC) represented a woman who experienced this circumstance when her surgeon did not remove a malignant mass upon surgery and even during the post-surgical treatment.
“Nancy” was a married mother and grandmother in her mid-50s. A careful self-examination revealed a lump in her left breast, which proved to be malignant.
Nancy immediately visited a surgeon to have the malignant lump removed. Following the surgery, a pathology report revealed strong evidence that the surgeon hadn’t eliminated all the cancer from Nancy’s breast, and that cancerous cells remained at the surgical site. The surgeon did not perform a second operation and instead relied on radiation to attempt remove the poisonous cancer.
Radiation was not successful. One year later, Nancy was diagnosed with stage IV cancer which had spread from her breast to her liver, lungs and to other parts of her body. Though she had wisely conducted a self-examination that led to early detection, the surgeon’s inefficiency caused an enormous negative effect on her well-being. With her health in crisis, she came to us for help.
During the trial Nancy testified that, following the lumpectomy, the surgeon told her he had “gotten everything out.” We proved to the jury that the doctor’s explanation must have been fabricated since he had already acknowledged the pathology report showing the cancer’s remnants at the surgical site.
We also called upon medical experts to support Nancy’s negligence claim. The experts testified that the defendant surgeon’s poor judgment and failure to remove the cancerous cells in a timely fashion furthered Nancy’s severe condition.
The jury agreed with our experts and SPBMC secured a favorable verdict, awarding Nancy $10.5 million for her pain and suffering.
For many patients, the proper treatment of any illness may mean the difference between life and death. If you think a serious condition could have been prevented or eliminated if not for a failure to diagnose a disease or injury, contact us immediately.