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Surgeon Found Liable on Loss-of-Chance Claim


In Riley v. Andrade, a grieving husband filed suit against the surgeon who failed to diagnose his now deceased wife with cancer.

At a routine mammogram in 2006, a swollen lymph node was found in the Plaintiff's wife's armpit. She was later referred to the Defendant surgeon for a biopsy.

Testimony at trial disputed the next sequence of events. The surgeon testified that she suggested further imaging studies before proceeding with the biopsy, but disputes that she agreed with the patient to wait until after the images became available to have the biopsy. The Plaintiff testified that the surgeon did not stress the need for an immediate biopsy.

The patient was transferred to another surgeon and the biopsy conducted after a three and a half month delay. At that point, the cancer had progressed to Stage 4. Despite undergoing aggressive chemotherapy for three years, she passed away 39 months after diagnosis.

The Defendant's experts claimed that the patient was already in Stage 4 and the delay made no difference, while Plaintiff's experts claimed that there was no evidence of metastasis back when the biopsy should have been performed. Plaintiff contended that his wife lost her chance at survival because of the delayed diagnosis.

The Plaintiff ultimately prevailed in a jury trial and was awarded $1.5 million.

Plaintiffs have an uphill battle with medical malpractice cases. The odds are often stacked against them. If you believe you have a wrongful death claim, contact our firm today for a free consultation.