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Delayed lung cancer diagnosis medical malpractice case settles

Last month we wrote a post on a woman who was left with six months to live after a doctor misdiagnosed nodules on her lung in an X-ray as asthma several years ago. By the time the cancer was diagnosed, it had already spread to her other lung as well as other parts of her body. According to at least one doctor, it is possible that prompt treatment could have led to a cure.

The now 41-year-old woman has a 15-year-old daughter with special needs. Among other things the girl is autistic and cannot speak. Not surprisingly, the single mom is worried about the care of her daughter and is doing what she can to prepare a future for her daughter when she is gone. She has found a home for her daughter with an aunt and most likely in an effort to secure financial security for her, filed a civil lawsuit against the city in which the hospital is located, related to the misdiagnosis.

One thing that individuals who have been injured due to behaviors of another may not be aware of is that there is a limited amount of time in which a civil lawsuit can be filed. In this case that period of time ran out a year prior to the filing of the lawsuit. Despite the statute of limitations having run out, the lawsuit the woman filed in this case recently settled.

The city agreed to pay the woman $625,000. While this may seem like a lot of money to many, compared to the millions she likely would have received had the case been filed in time, it is a drop in the bucket. When all is said and done there will not be a whole lot left over, probably around $425,000. Because it costs around $150,000 each year to provide for the woman's daughter, while better than nothing, that money will not last for long.

While not all statutes of limitations are as short as the one in this case, the matter is one all should be aware of. Filing civil lawsuits in a timely manner can determine whether a case can go to trial.

Source: Opposing Views, "Lavern Wilkinson Offered $625k Settlement After Lung Cancer Misdiagnosis," Ashley Davis, Feb 28, 2013

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