A cancer diagnosis can understandably be very scary for patients and their family members. But in Texas and across the United States, cancer patients may have many treatment options available. Modern medical technology means that surgery, along with chemotherapy and other treatments, can successfully treat many types of cancer. Because cancer is so prevalent in our society, many modalities of treatment exist. However, for a treatment to have a chance of being successful, it must be properly provided and performed. In this featured lawsuit, sadly, a woman with treatable breast cancer was told that her tumor was removed after surgery, but months later, she realized that was not the case – with catastrophic results.
Surgery negligently performed
The patient in this case was from another state. After her breast cancer diagnosis, she had surgery to remove a malignant tumor, went through chemotherapy and had a double mastectomy. She was told that the tumor was successfully removed. Months later, the patient noticed a lump in the same area. Further medical examinations revealed the tumor had not been removed, and there were multiple other issues with the surgery. Imaging showed that not only had the tumor not been removed, the metal clip placed at time of biopsy had not even been removed.
Because of the failed surgery, the woman had to undergo more invasive treatments, and she now faces a higher risk of cancer returning. She pursued a lawsuit against the medical center responsible for her treatment. The patient appropriately received a considerable judgment of $2.4 million by the jury. Due to the existing damage cap in Maryland, which is different than Texas, the judgment may be reduced to less than a million dollars. The attorneys representing the plaintiff in this case said they plan to oppose the cap and argue that a higher cap for victims of medical negligence should apply.
Steps in pursuing a medical malpractice case
We know from personal experience that being diagnosed with cancer can be terrifying and devastating for a patient. The last thing a patient facing cancer treatment needs is to have their concerns ignored, or face the same systemic failures that the patient in the case above faced. It’s important for cancer patients to have confidence in their medical care team. When faced with the need for cancer treatments, a patient and their family members should not have to worry about negligence. Sadly, all too often, “the system” makes it difficult to obtain good care. Those in Texas who have dealt with similar situations to that experienced by this patient may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the healthcare system involved.