$2M Settlement for Misread Mammograms Leading Breast Cancer Death

2015 Medical Malpractice Trial Report

Failure to properly interpret mammograms leads to Stage IV breast cancer at diagnosis and death at the age of 58

Plaintiff underwent routine screening mammograms performed in 2006, 2007, and 2008, each of which were interpreted by the radiology defendants as showing no mammographic evidence of malignancy.

Plaintiff’s radiology expert reviewed these same films and was prepared to testify that the each film showed an increase in suspicious calcifications in the upper inner quadrant of the right breast, as well an asymmetric density in 2007 and 2008 and an enlarged lymph node in 2007 and 2008. These abnormal findings required additional imaging and biopsy which would have led to earlier diagnosis and treatment of her breast cancer.

In January 2010, the plaintiff underwent a diagnostic mammogram after she discovered a palpable lump in the upper-inner quadrant of her right breast a couple of weeks prior. The mammogram was reported as showing an area of architectural distortion in the upper inner quadrant of the right breast as well as multiple enlarged lymph nodes in the right axilla. A biopsy and ultrasound of the right breast was recommended and the plaintiff was subsequently diagnosed with right breast high grade, triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma. She received one dose of neoadjuvant therapy for her cancer, but was quickly found to have intracranial disease and radiation was started. Despite receiving treatment for much of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, the plaintiff’s cancer continued to spread and passed away on June 10, 2011 at the age of 58. She left one adult daughter at the time of her death.

When plaintiff’s expert compared the diagnostic study from 2010 with the prior imaging from 2006-2008, she was prepared to testify that the area of architectural distortion was in the same location as the suspicious calcifications and asymmetric density in the upper inner quadrant of the right breast. Defense experts were disclosed to testify that no suspicious calcifications were seen on imaging from 2006-2008 and that the enlarged lymph node, while not reported as an abnormality, was in fact evidence that the breast cancer had already metastasized to her lymph nodes and beyond as of the time of the alleged negligence and therefore her prognosis would not have changed with an earlier diagnosis.

The claim went to mediation two months before trial and settled for Two Million Dollars.

Lubin & Meyer attorneys Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and Krysia Syska represented the plaintiff in this medical malpractice lawsuit.

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