Doctor fails to diagnose girl’s cancer; court upholds parents’ right to sue
When it comes to life-threatening illness, treatment time lost means survival chances lost. If a doctor fails to diagnose a serious condition early, the loss to the patient and her family can be devastating; if the doctor should have been able to make the early diagnosis, the loss deserves compensation.
One court recently recognized that. The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that the parents of a five-year-old girl with cancer may sue a doctor that they allege failed to diagnose their daughter early enough.
A bump was visible on the girl’s body from her birth, but the doctor never diagnosed it. By the time a diagnosis—stage IV alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood muscular cancer—was finally made, the girl was a year old, and it was too late: The cancer had already spread to other parts of her body. Experts engaged by the girl’s parents determined that the doctor’s yearlong delay reduced the girl’s survival chances from 60 percent to 40 percent, and the Minneapolis appeals court decided that that gave the parents standing to sue. The parents’ attorney told the Twin Cities’ Star Tribune that the court’s decision reflects “what most people understood the law to be.”
Have you been harmed by a doctor’s failure to diagnose a medical condition? Contact Hodes Milman Liebeck for a free case evaluation. We’re aggressive personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers based in Orange County, serving all of California. We have the experience to take on the medical industry and have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts for our clients.