This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Medical Malpractice Case – $3,000,000 Settlement
Failure To Follow Up On Presence Of Ovarian Cyst
experiencing unusual pain in her pelvis, our client consulted with her doctor who suggested that she undergo an ultrasound examination. During this diagnostic test, the radiologist saw a complex cyst and recommended to the woman’s doctor that follow-up scans should be undertaken in the next months to examine the cyst further. But the doctor never ordered another test or told this woman about her cyst. As a result, a cyst which could likely have been treated if caught early developed into what was essentially an incurable ovarian cancer that spread to her lymph nodes and organs.
Chemotherapy and surgeries were required to try to stem the progress of this devastating cancer. Although originally a lawsuit was filed only on behalf of this courageous woman, another claim was later added to include her same-sex partner for “loss of consortium”. When an agreement with the medical providers in the amount of $3,000,000 dollars was eventually reached, this settlement represented one of the largest settlements ever for a same-sex civil union couple in Illinois.
More about Failure to Follow Up Malpractice Cases
When people speak about a lack of follow through in medical cases, sometimes they assume that the failure is on the part of the patient. After all, doctors will routinely tell their patients to remember to schedule another annual appointment, to remember to take their medication on time, or to remember to return to the medical office to review the results of blood work. –And if patients fail to remember such things, it’s often understandable because after all, sometimes life gets in the way.
But what about when a doctor forgets to do something, as was alleged in our settlement detailed above? Our medical providers literally hold our lives in their hands. We expect them to look out for our best interests and use their deep body of knowledge to heal us. They are also well paid to do just that. We know that sometimes, medical results can be unpredictable, but still, we expect their very, very best efforts. What we never would expect is for one of them to simply forget to do something or to check something, the failure of which might result in injury or death. When this occurs, it is of course inexcusable, and it most certainly also is considered medical malpractice.
Even when a patient has forgotten to schedule an appointment or to return in order to view test results, it is usually the responsibility of the treater to contact the patient. Without proper information from the medical office, a patient is unlikely to know whether the next appointment, procedure, or test is a routine matter that can be harmlessly rescheduled, or something of immediate and grave importance.
When someone has a biopsy, CT scan, MRI, mammogram or other radiological exam, they have every right to assume that the doctor will 1) promptly review the results, 2) correctly interpret the findings, and of equal importance, immediately contact the patient to communicate the results and immediately schedule any necessary follow up tests or procedures. When a failure to do so occurs, the health of the patient becomes needlessly endangered, and that person is entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for any harm that ensues.
If you believe that a lack of follow up on the part of a surgeon or doctor has harmed you or a loved one, you can rely on Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC for honest and professional advice. Contact us now at 800-996-4824 for a free consultation. No fees ever apply unless we are successful on your behalf.