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Man mistakenly given months to live compensated for misdiagnosis


Posted by Brendan Faulkner of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jun 20, 2013 in Failure To Diagnose

Being diagnosed with a serious illness can be a very difficult event in someone's life. Being told that the illness is not treatable and you only have months to live, however, can be absolutely devastating. It can be emotionally, physically and financially traumatic for patients and their families to try and come to terms with the medical diagnosis.

But imagine going through all that only to find out that the doctor had made a mistake. There was a misdiagnosis. You have much longer than just a few months to live. While this would certainly be good news, it does not undo the devastation suffered between the two diagnoses. A jury recently awarded a man compensation after he went through this very experience.

According to reports, a man who is now 47 was told by his doctor in 2009 that he only had months to live. He had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and there was not much that could be done to extend the man's life. He was devastated and began making some extremely difficult decisions. He took time away from work and started planning for how his wife would be taken care of after he died.

But eventually, the man learned that his illness was not Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It was non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is much a more treatable form of cancer than the initial diagnosis. The doctor had read the CT scan incorrectly and wrongly told the man that he would die in a matter of months.

Understanding the tremendous damage that was done by the inaccurate diagnosis, a jury recently awarded the man $200,000 for the distress he endured and to compensate him for loss of income and loss of enjoyment. 

Source: Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, "Misdiagnosis: Greene man wins $200,000 suit," Mark LaFlamme, June 13, 2013