Sommers Schwartz attorney Robert Sickels filed a general negligence complaint on behalf of a woman who underwent an unnecessary hysterectomy and removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes after she was misdiagnosed with cancer.
On August 29, 2019, the plaintiff went to the defendant OB/GYN doctor with a complaint of spotting after her menstrual periods. The physician conducted a vaginal exam and ordered a pap smear. Due to the appearance of some thickened endometrium, the physician also performed an endometrial biopsy.
The next day, a representative of the OB/GYN practice advised the plaintiff that the preliminary pathology report indicated there were cancer cells in the biopsy tissue consistent with high-grade endometrial carcinoma. Before the plaintiff’s appointment with a surgical oncologist to whom she was referred, the OB/GYN practice advised her that the final pathology report revealed she had a very aggressive form of uterine cancer.
The plaintiff saw her surgeon on September 11, 2019, at which time she performed a vaginal exam, reviewed the final biopsy report, and discussed with the plaintiff a surgical plan and other treatment, including possible chemotherapy. The proposed surgical plan involved a total hysterectomy, the removal of her fallopian tubes and ovaries, removal of a portion of the omentum, and a sentinel node biopsy. She underwent the procedure on September 11, 2019.
On September 27, 2019, the plaintiff was told of a discrepancy between her original biopsy report and the postoperative pathology report. Four days later, a nurse from the defendant surgery center told her the pathology report was negative for any cancer and that DNA tests on the biopsy tissue and surgical specimens did not match. The plaintiff has yet to receive any explanation as to how this catastrophic error occurred.
The lawsuit alleged that because of negligent handling of the tissue samples and the subsequent misdiagnosis, the plaintiff underwent an unnecessary surgery and is now sterile. She has suffered premature menopause that necessitates hormone therapy, and both she and her spouse have experienced depression, emotional pain, and loss of companionship and intimacy as a result of the defendants’ negligence.