Did failure to note calcifications delay breast cancer diagnosis?
<court>Lavaca County (Tex) District Court</court>
Twenty-two months after undergoing a mammogram that was reported as normal, a woman in her forties detected a mass in her breast. A biopsy confirmed stage II breast cancer.
In suing, the woman claimed that the radiologist who read her mammogram was negligent for not identifying suspicious calcifications or recommending further evaluation. She argued that the delay in diagnosis allowed the malignancy to advance, thus lowering her life expectancy and making lymph node dissection, chemotherapy, and radiation necessary.
The physician argued that the mass was not visible in the mammogram and that the delay did not have a significant effect on her life expectancy.
- The case settled for $300,000.
The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts (www.verdictslaska.com). While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.