Fitzsimmons Law Firm recently obtained a $1 Million settlement for a woman who was a victim of medical malpractice. The $1 Million settlement represents the full insurance policy limits of the defendant doctor. The plaintiff was a 65 year old female who presented to the defendant doctor with an abnormal pap smear. After undergoing an MRI of the pelvis, a cervical mass was detected. The defendant doctor scheduled the plaintiff for surgery to perform an exploratory laparotomy and total hysterectomy. During the surgery, a large pelvic uterine mass was partially removed and sent to pathology for diagnosis. The original pathology report diagnosed the patient with endometrial cancer; however, only three (3) days later, the original pathology report was amended to reflect that the patient's tumor was cervical cancer, as opposed to endometrial cancer as originally reported. The amended pathology report also identified that tumor staging could not be assessed because the defendant doctor failed to remove the main tumor mass.
Despite the pathology report being sent to the defendant doctor, the doctor: (1) failed to inform the patient of the amended diagnosis of cervical cancer; and (2) failed to inform the patient that the main tumor mass had not been resected during the subject surgery, leaving her with "a cut through stump carcinoma of the cervix." Instead, the defendant doctor focused on the incorrect diagnosis of endometrial cancer and ordered surveillance pap smears, advising the patient she was cancer free. As a result, the standard treatment of radiation therapy and chemotherapy were not instituted to treat the patient's diagnosis of cervical cancer. Approximately six (6) months later, the patient first learned her tumor had not been completely resected during the surgery and she also first learned that she was suffering from cervical cancer. Shortly thereafter, the patient was diagnosed with residual adenocarcinoma of the cervix and a pulmonary metastasis, which were deemed inoperable by her doctors.
The patient and her husband employed Fitzsimmons Law Firm, who retained expert physicians in the field of gynecology and oncology. These experts testified that the defendant doctor deviated from acceptable standards of care and committed medical malpractice by failing to remove the plaintiff's main tumor mass, failing to make himself aware of the findings in the amended pathology report that the main tumor mass was not resected, failing to apprise himself of the findings in the amended pathology report wherein the diagnosis of endometrial cancer was changed to cervical cancer, and failing to promptly institute medical treatment for the patient's cervical cancer. As a result, the patient's cancer spread to her lung and the patient has been advised that her cancer is inoperable.
The patient and her husband sought all damages recoverable under the law, including pain and suffering, both physical and mental; medical bills; lost wages; loss of earning capacity; loss of enjoyment of life; loss of household services and loss of consortium. Shortly after filing the medical malpractice lawsuit, the case settled for $1 Million, which represents the limits of the total applicable insurance for the defendant doctor.