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Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis Leads to Large Medical Malpractice Verdict

medical misdiagnosis Boston Massachusetts

Brigham & Women’s Hospital on Francis St. in Boston, Massachusetts

A Boston jury has awarded the daughter of a woman who died after a radiologist misdiagnosed her lung cancer $16.7 million dollars in what is the largest medical malpractice verdict in Massachusetts this year.

A persistent cough led the woman, who was in her late forties when she died, to Brigham & Women’s emergency department in 2006. The attending physician ordered a chest x-ray and Dr. Clarke diagnosed it as an upper respiratory infection and prescribed antibiotics. A year went by and the medication did not work, her symptoms worsened and the woman returned to the emergency room, only this time to be diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. The woman died 7 months later in 2008 at the age of 47.

While Dr. Clarke’s lawyers believe that he “acted in accordance with the diagnostic standards of care”, it is obvious that a mistake was made when he read her x-ray’s, resulting in the woman’s death. As human beings, we put our trust in physicians. While medical mistakes happen every day, people are entitled to correct diagnostics from our physicians so that we may be able to make informed decisions regarding future care.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2005 an estimated 2,449 medical malpractice cases were heard throughout the nation and plaintiffs prevailed in less than a quarter of the trials. The average verdict was $400,000. The reason for such high verdicts was because wrongful death was involved in the claim. While medical malpractice cases are difficult for the families and attorneys involved, today’s verdict proves they are not impossible.

If you or anyone you know believe a medical wrong has been done to you or you were hurt because of someone else’s negligence, please contact the law office of Mazow|McCullough, P.C. today so that the matter can be properly, efficiently and successfully handled. We can help you to feel empowered again as you seek justice for you or your loved one’s injuries and/or wrongful death. The right lawyer makes all the difference. You can contact us at 978-744-8000 or

Photo credit: chipmunk_1 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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