$4 Million Recovery: Failure to Diagnose Carcinoma


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Robert Ross, a founding partner at Ross Feller Casey, in 2012 secured $4 million for a 25-year-old woman whose cancer was allowed to progress despite clear signs that she had the disease.

Starting in 2003, the woman—then only 16—complained to doctors of trouble breathing, swollen tonsils, headaches, sharp pain in the ears, toothache, a burning feeling in the nose, and frequent nose bleeds—all signs of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

She continued to see doctors for those medical issues over the next five years, including a stay in a Philadelphia hospital with a nose bleed that lasted six hours in the summer of 2007.

It was not until July 2008 that the woman was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a cancer located in the uppermost part of the respiratory tract behind the nose. The delay had allowed the disease to progress.

Since then, the woman has undergone extensive cancer treatments, including chemoradiation, and will continue to require such treatments in the future.

In the Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuit, Ross argued that if doctors had properly diagnosed the woman earlier—as they should have—her chances of recovery would be much greater.

Ross reached a settlement in the case after of week of trial.

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