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ARTICLE ID 190626

$________ CONFIDENTIAL Medical Malpractice – Primary Care – Failure to timely diagnose and treat thyroid cancer – Wrongful death of 69-year-old female.

Withheld County, MA

In this medical malpractice matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant physician, a primary care doctor, failed to timely diagnose and treat the decedent’s thyroid cancer resulting in her untimely death. The defendants denied any wrongdoing and maintained that there was never any evidence of a palpable lump giving reason to assume that patient’s complaints were related to reflux disease. In light of the patient’s complaints and symptoms, the diagnosis was reasonable and within acceptable standards of care.

The female plaintiff presented to her doctor, the defendant primary care physician, on multiple occasions between ________ and ________ with complaints of throat pain, a lump in her throat, difficulty breathing, vomiting and a persistent cough. Despite her complaints of a lump in her throat, the defendant did not find any lump on examination. The patient was referred to an ENT who also could not locate any lump on examination and the ENT’s other diagnostic testing failed to disclose any problems. The patient was diagnosed by the defendant as suffering primarily from reflux. In February ________, the patient was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer and she died as a result of complications from the cancer.

The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant physician alleging negligence in failing to timely diagnose and treat the thyroid cancer and in failing to obtain a biopsy given the plaintiff’s symptoms and complaints. The plaintiff contended that the defendant was negligent in failing to perform diagnostic testing that would have disclosed the thyroid cancer in a timely manner. At the time of the patient’s diagnosis, the cancer had spread significantly.

The defendant denied any liability and stated that there was no deviation from acceptable standards of care. Unable to palpate a lump despite the patient’s complaints, the defendant contended that there was no reason to have the patient undergo a biopsy and that the diagnosis of reflux was more aligned to the plaintiff’s symptoms and complaints.The parties agreed to resolve the plaintiff’s complaint for the sum of $________ in a confidential settlement between the parties.

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