Kimberly Reed went to her dermatologist with a lesion on her face and asked him to remove it. Her dermatologist, Dr. Robert Rhodes, told her it was probably a benign cyst and that she should “watch and wait.” Several months later, Ms. Reed noticed the lump had grown and become red and inflamed. She went back to Dr. Rhodes who injected the lump with a steroid but did not order further diagnostics.
The next day, Ms. Reed went to her family doctor who referred her to another surgeon. Ultimately, a biopsy was performed that revealed the lump to be cancerous liposarcoma. Ms. Reed was required to go through ten surgeries and multiple complications that left her deformed and unable to normally open her mouth, chew or talk.
The jury was advised that a doctor should always err on the side of a biopsy when there is any uncertainty as to whether a lump is cancerous or a cyst. The evidence established that the delay in diagnosis caused the cancer to spread and develop into a more severe form of cancer that required more invasive treatment, increased her chances for recurrence and decreased her chances for survival.
The jury voted to compensate Ms. Reed with $3 million in future non-economic damages, $1.5 million in future lost earnings, $500,000 for past non-economic damages. Her husband was awarded $350,000 in loss of consortium damages.
Congratulations to plaintiff counsel Gary Solomon. Our hopes are that the jury’s verdict offers some comfort to Ms. Reed and her family.
As Erie medical malpractice lawyers, we know how long and difficult these cases can be for the patients who have been injured through no fault of their own. It is an injury all its own that the responsible physician denies and delays for years, forcing someone with profound injuries to fight to the very end for justice. We’re pleased that the jury in this case saw the truth and had the courage to do the right thing.
For more free information on Pennsylvania medical error cases, go to our medical malpractice page or our medical malpractice library or call today to speak with one of our Erie medical malpractice lawyers at 814-833-7100 or toll free at 814-833-7100.