Woman Wins $5.7 M for Missed Cancer

Woman Wins $5.7 M for Missed Cancer

A jury awarded more than $5.7 million to a woman from Portland Oregon who is dying of breast cancer because hospital staff did not correctly evaluate her mammogram, resulting in a failure to diagnose her cancer.

The jury found Oregon Clinic guilty of negligence, and awarded Julie Joel $754,052 in economic damages, and $5 million for pain and suffering.

The radiologist who examined the x-rays was not named as a defendant.

Joel, 58, went to The Oregon Clinic in 2002. She had a mammogram performed and a radiologist misread the x-rays, finding no abnormalities, said Elden Rosenthal, Joel’s attorney.

Joel went in for another checkup at a different hospital two years later in 2004. The staff at this hospital told her she had advanced breast cancer.

“In our system, when a mistake is made that causes tragic consequences, the person injured is entitled to fair compensation,” Rosenthal said. “And the jury passed a fair verdict in this case.”

Joel said that medical experts called to testify in court on her behalf by her lawyer confirmed that the x-rays taken in the first mammogram called for a closer look.

Though Joel sat through the medical experts’ testimony, she did not stay for the testimony that would outline the unpleasant details of her forthcoming death.

Speaking of the verdict, Joel said, “You never want to have to be in that position. … It’s kind of bittersweet, if you know what I mean. I don’t know how long I have to live.”

Many hospitals have two radiologists examine mammogram x-rays, but in Joel’s case, no second opinion was sought. Joel said she hopes that this lawsuit will encourage more hospitals to require x-ray evaluation by more than one physician.

Victim of medical malpractice? If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed as a result of a misdiagnosis, or another form of medical malpractice, please contact us today for a free consultation with a caring and experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help you recover the compensation you may be entitled to.

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