April 22, 2011, ERIE, PA — A Sheffield woman died from otherwise curable lung cancer because her doctors carelessly failed to diagnose her cancer for almost three years. Yesterday, an Erie jury reached a verdict in favor of her estate and against those doctors in the amount of $1.8 million.
Carolyn Champlin was a widowed mother of six when she began seeking treatment in 2000. X-rays and tests done at the time showed that she had lung cancer that was treatable. However, her physicians didn’t pay close attention to the diagnostic tests and failed to identify the cancer until 2003, by which time the tumor had grown and spread to the point that it was no longer curable. Ms. Champlin died from the cancer in April of 2005.
The jury found Dr. Renato Campo, formerly of Kane and now retired, and Dr. Wilfredo Tan, of Erie, to be negligent in their care of Ms. Champlin. Dr. Campo was determined to be 60% negligent and Dr. Tan was determined to be 40% negligent.
All of the named defendants denied any responsibility but several of them settled prior to the Pennsylvania medical malpractice verdict, including Dr. Campo, Kane Memorial Hospital, Hamot Medical Center and Warren General Hospital. The jury’s verdict will be reduced by the percentage of negligence attributed to the settling defendants.
As is typical in medical malpractice, the Erie cancer misdiagnosis case followed the usual course of deny, delay and defend to the end. The lawsuit was filed in 2005 and was defended in litigation for approximately six years, forcing Ms. Champlin’s children to fight with the doctors and hospitals over that period of time to acknowledge the truth of their mother’s misdiagnosis and the responsibility that each of them had for her death.
Congratulations to Lawyer David Paul who represented Ms. Champlin’s children.
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