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Pennsylvania: Doctor identifies cancerous lung mass as a scar

Counsel Financial

In this wrongful death and medical malpractice action, plaintiff's decedent, a 66-year-old longtime smoker, underwent regular chest X-rays as ordered by her primary care physician. It was later detected that there was a mass on decedent's upper right lung. Two years later the mass had grown and a biopsy was ordered. The doctor concluded that the mass was actually a scar. Decedent saw another doctor two years later, and learned that the mass was lung cancer. Decedent's estate sued the treating doctors and hospital. During trial, plaintiff's expert cardiothoracic surgeon testified that decedent's doctor did not order the proper diagnostic tests. The defense argued that decedent was repeatedly advised to stop smoking and did not. Sidebar: While the jury was deliberating, the decedent's estate settled with some defendants. A punitive damages charge was withdrawn. No negligence was imputed to decedent.

VERDICT: $ 1,821,529.

Patricia Wees, administrator of the Estate of Carolyn Champlin v. Renato Ocampo, et. al (Erie County, Pennsylvania, Case no. 1174-2005).