The family of a woman who lost her life due to lung cancer filed a lawsuit. Unfortunately, many people die each year in Illinois due to errors at a hospital. Reportedly, this woman’s condition continued to worsen due to hospital negligence by the doctor and radiologist. Recently, a jury awarded over $16 million to the woman’s daughter.
When the woman started to experience a constant cough, she made a visit to the hospital’s emergency room back in 2006. A chest X-ray was ordered, and when the results were read, it was believed to be normal. She was diagnosed as having an upper respiratory infection. She was prescribed antibiotics, and a little over a year after, her condition became worse. Eventually, a CT scan was ordered, and the results revealed that she had advanced lung cancer.
Just seven months later, the cancer migrated to other parts of her body, including her liver and kidney. She eventually died. According to the lawsuit, the initial chest X-ray revealed that there was, in fact, a 1.5 centimeter nodule on her lung. The jury awarded the plaintiff -- her daughter -- $16.7 million, but the defendants plan on pursuing a new trial.
Hospital errors are the cause of many patient deaths that occur throughout the state. In this case, it is possible that the woman could have survived her medical issues or lived much longer if the doctor or other medical staff members had properly diagnosed her in the first place. Unfortunately, medical staff members missed an important part of the chest X-ray, which ultimately caused the woman’s death. Family of those who died due to hospital negligence may have the right to file medical malpractice claims against the facility or physician who was treating them. By taking appropriate civil action, Illinois families may be awarded monetary compensation.
Source: The Boston Globe, "Overlooked lung cancer results in $16.7 million verdict against radiologist", Yasmeen Abutaleb, June 30, 2014