A jury in Middlesex County has awarded a Burlington woman a $9.5 Waltham, Ma. medical malpractice million verdict. Cristen Lebel, 41, and her husband sued Dr. Kim Thornton at Boston IVF for not detecting Lebel’s ovarian cancer, which has now advanced to Stage 3. According to their Boston injury lawyer, Lebel is likely to die and this could have been avoided if only she received the proper medical care. With interest, the jury award is $11.3 million.
According to the plaintiffs, from June ’08 through May ’09, Thornton did not take the necessary steps to detect Lebel’s cancer, failed to identify the signs and symptoms, and did not order tests to rule out whether her cancer was malignant. Thornton, however, maintains that while treating Lebel for fertility issues, she complied with the standard of care and did not contribute to or modify the course of the patient’s diagnosis.
Failure to diagnose cancer or its delayed diagnosis may alter the outcome of the disease for a patient. Early and proper detection is integral to surviving it. A cancer that is treatable may become untreatable, even fatal. Delayed diagnosis may result in more aggressive treatments that could otherwise have been avoided.
Unfortunately, there are incidents when doctors fail to diagnose cancer or a radiologist or pathologist misreads test results. Other factors that may lead to delayed or missed cancer diagnosis include technological malfunctioning, switched or lost lab outcomes, x-rays that are misread, failure to conduct a diagnostic test, and not referring a patient to the right specialist.
According to the American Cancer Society, 3% of cancers affecting women is ovarian cancer. This type of cancer, however, causes more fatalities than any cancer affecting the female reproductive system. Common signs and symptoms include bloating, problems eating, abdominal or pelvic pain, feeling full too fast, the need to urinate a lot, fatigue, back pain, pain during intercourse, menstrual changes, constipation, weight loss, and swelling of the abdomen.
You want to speak with a Boston medical malpractice lawyer to explore your legal options.
Burlington woman awarded $9.5m in cancer suit, Boston.com, October 28, 2014
Ovarian Cancer, American Cancer Society
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