Accordingly to the Boston Globe, a jury in Massachusetts recently awarded over $16 Million to the family of a women who died of lung cancer. The woman died in August of 2008 at the age of 47. The woman sought treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in October of 2006 due to complaints of a persistent cough. X Rays were taken to rule out pneumonia. The Hospital read the X rays as normal. Thirteen months later, the woman visited the Hospital again due to a persistent cough. This time, the Hospital ordered a CT scan of the Chest. The scan showed advanced Lung Cancer. The women died seven months later after the cancer also spread to other organs.
During the course of the trial, there was evidence presented that the original x ray did in fact show a nodule in her lung. When she went back to the hospital 13 months later, the nodule grew in size. The plaintiff’s argument was that the hospital and doctor was negligent in not diagnosing her lung cancer after the initial visit and x-rays. This failure to diagnose her condition caused her to loose her chances of recovery of the cancer. The Defendant tried to argue they did not have the full medical picture of the woman which included a history of smoking for 30 years. In light of the large verdict, the Jury clearly found the hospital and doctor made a medical error in not diagnosing her condition and their negligence ultimately led to her death.