Sommers Schwartz attorney Michael Cunningham negotiated a confidential settlement for a woman who went through extensive but unnecessary treatment after the defendant diagnostic laboratory misinterpreted a breast biopsy as positive for breast cancer.
According to the allegations, the plaintiff, then 23 years old, underwent an ultrasound-guided biopsy of her right breast at the defendant’s imaging center. The defendant’s pathologists interpreted the tissue as invasive intraductal carcinoma and notified the plaintiff she had breast cancer. Eleven days later, the patient began treatment, which included six rounds of chemotherapy, followed by a mastectomy of the right breast. But no Cancerous tissue was found in the removed breast tissue or lymph nodes; instead, the plaintiff was correctly diagnosed with a benign tumor.
Uncertain of whether she had cancer, the plaintiff sought a second opinion from the University of Michigan Medical Center Breast Cancer Center, which then obtained the slides from her initial breast biopsy and sent them to the Mayo Clinic Lab for testing. DNA testing and other results proved that the tissue found on the slides did not originate from the plaintiff, and she did not have cancer. The tissue belonged to another woman with breast cancer.
Because of the defendants’ alleged ordinary negligence and fraudulent concealment of his error, the plaintiff suffered constant pain, mental anguish, and permanent disfigurement and deformity from the right breast mastectomy, and the chemotherapy damaged her ovaries so she cannot ovulate and will have difficulty getting pregnant.
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