Woman Misdiagnosed with Cancer Cannot File MedMal Lawsuit
A Florida woman who was misdiagnosed with cancer will not be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor who misdiagnosed her. The woman approached several lawyers concerning the misdiagnosis, but all of them refused to take her case. Why? Well, medical malpractice lawsuits are expensive to litigate and without the hope of a large jury award, the costs can outweigh the gains.
The same is true here in Maryland. Plaintiffs in medical malpractice lawsuits must hire expert witnesses to testify on their behalf. These expert witnesses don’t come cheap. The costs associated with litigating the case often outweigh the potential rewards. In the case mentioned above, the patient found out that she did not have cancer. She could have sued her doctors for negligent infliction of emotional distress, but since the basis of the suit was a misdiagnosis, she would have needed a medical expert to testify on her behalf.
One element of every medical malpractice lawsuit is proof that the medical malpractice caused injury to the plaintiff. Typically, that injury is physical as opposed to emotional. As an example, if a doctor misdiagnoses a patient and that patient suffers a worsening of their condition with permanent injury, then the patient can sue the doctor and a medical malpractice lawyer would be more than happy to take the case. In the case mentioned above, several lawyers turned down the case because the patient was not injured physically because of the misdiagnosis.
Damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit
Damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit are related to injuries suffered because of the medical malpractice. In the case mentioned above, the plaintiff went through the emotional trauma of facing down potential cancer. When she got a second opinion, months later, it turned out that she did not have cancer at all and all her worrying was for nothing. In other words, her damages were emotional and not physical.
The original diagnosis was from a biopsy taken of a lump on the patient’s back. The samples were sent to a hospital where they were tested and it was determined that the patient had B-cell lymphoma. As a result, the patient suffered through an extended period where she believed she would need several rounds of chemotherapy and potentially die. She canceled vacation plans because of the diagnosis. A second check of the lump on her back revealed that she had T-cell lymphoproliferative disorder, a condition that is not nearly as serious as a cancer diagnosis. The patient lost nearly $20,000 for medical expenses related to the misdiagnosis, but she was told by several medical malpractice attorneys that her likely jury award would not cover the costs of going to court. In other words, it wasn’t worth the effort to try the case because she was in good health.
Talk to a Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
The Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys at Furman | Honick Law represent the interests of patients in medical malpractice lawsuits. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your case right away.