Final Verdict: $20 Million After Missed Tumor

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Final Verdict: $20 Million After Missed Tumor

A Fairfax County, Virginia jury issued a stark warning to medical providers who fail to treat cancer symptoms seriously, awarding $20,500,000.00 to a Virginia plaintiff whose medical provider missed her tumor while it was still small.Final Verdict: $20 Million After Missed Tumor

Many medical malpractice cases involve errors or mistakes made during surgery. However, a missed diagnosis can be just as serious — or, in some cases, far more serious. There are numerous health conditions such as stroke, cancer, heart disease, and internal bleeding in which the signs are clear and time is of the essence. Failing to respond to and treat these types of symptoms can cause devastating injuries, as the condition can worsen rapidly and make treatment more challenging or even impossible.

If a medical malpractice attorney like Cohen & Cohen can prove that a medical provider ignored critical signs when it should have acted, that medical provider can be held responsible for the consequences of their inaction, as 55-year-old Michelle O’Connell learned. Her mistreatment at the hands of Kaiser Permanente and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group caused serious damages that almost cost her life.

The case began in July 2011, when Michelle underwent a double mastectomy with reconstructive implants at Kaiser Hospital in Springfield, Virginia. Shortly after the surgery, Michelle began feeling pain and a lump underneath her right breast implant. She reported it immediately, but her oncologist, Dr. Bassema Antabli, insisted it was merely scar tissue from the surgery. Although she asked whether they should do further examination, Antabli told her that diagnostic radiology (CT scans, MRIs, and other tests) was unnecessary and that she had “nothing to worry about” other than recovery from the surgery. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, recurrence of cancer in a breast cancer patient is a critical risk that must be closely monitored:

  • Recurrent breast cancer is breast cancer that comes back after initial treatment. Although the initial treatment is aimed at eliminating all cancer cells, a few may have evaded treatment and survived. These undetected cancer cells multiply, becoming recurrent breast cancer.
  • Recurrent breast cancer may occur months or years after your initial treatment. The cancer may come back in the same place as original cancer (local recurrence), or it may spread to other areas of your body (distant recurrence).

Despite knowing these risks, Antabli repeatedly refused to consider the possibility of recurrence and failed to order a CT scan for two years. Even after Antabli finally ordered a CT scan which showed a mass on her right chest wall, Michelle was still told that the mass was merely scar tissue or leakage from her implant. Later tests rapidly showed that the mass was actually a malignant desmoid tumor that had grown rapidly, swallowing up portions of Michelle’s ribcage. In order for the tumor to be removed, Michelle had to have multiple bones removed and a lengthy series of surgeries that destroyed her chest wall and left her with permanent disfigurement and injury.

It was clear during the 6-day trial that the tumor could have been removed with far less damage if it had been identified early. After just two hours of deliberation, the jury found the defendants responsible for Michelle’s damages and awarded her a verdict of $20.5 million. 

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Cohen & Cohen has an  impeccable Client Satisfaction Rating with hundreds of
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L Proctor
August 30, 2022.
My experience with Cohen &Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back.
Ebony Stoutmiles
June 23, 2022.
To say that I am happy with the outcome of my case is the understatement of the century! Jill Stanley is a BEAST at what she does. That is the only way to explain it. She takes no prisoners. She and her team are very skilled and knowledgeable. I am so happy I trusted them to do their job and rolled with Jill's suggestions. I would choose Jill again 100 times. She settled my case for more than I imagined I would receive. I was literally in tears. It is the best feeling to know my pain isn't for naught. Wayne Cohen and Kristopher Yorke were nothing short of amazing. They have the patience of saints. I'm 100% certain that I got on their last nerves with my frustration and tears at every other call I had with them. Being in pain and wanting to just be able to heal was all I could focus on, but they helped me realize that I also had to focus on the bigger picture (the case) so I could put this piece behind me. As a high-strung individual with anxiety, it was hard for me to not worry and let them do their jobs, but they reassured me all of the time that they had this. To be injured before the start of the pandemic and have to receive regular, weekly treatment while others are able to stay home is anxiety inducing. I was in pain, I was anxious, and I was just hoping it all worked out. It more than worked out. I hope Jill, Siri, and Kris know how much their hard work and "hanging in there" meant to me. I am eternally grateful. I can't recommend you all enough. If you choose this law firm, you won't be sorry!
Beloved Temple
June 3, 2022.
I was very pleased with the handling of my case and settlement with Cohen& Cohen. I appreciate them, would highly recommend them.
willie howell
May 25, 2022.
COHEN & COHEN ARE THE BEST I WAS INVOLVED IN A REAR END CAR CRASH AND 2 YEARS LATER I HAVE RECEIVED MY SETTLEMENT I AM VERY EXCITED TO SAY BRYAN!!! IS THE MAN HE INSURED THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND THEY DID 100% ANY QUESTIONS I ASKED THEY WERE ANSWERED. Jill and SIRI WAS ALSO REMARKABLE AND SHOWED THEY REALLY CARED I RECOMMEND COHEN &COHEN TO ANYONE THEY ALSO MADE SURE I GOT MORE THAN EXPECTED WHICH WAS AMAZING I APPRECIATE YOU GUYS THANK U💯
Jose Rivera
May 25, 2022.
The legal team at cohen & cohen did a great job I really appreciate the hard work on gating my compensation in a fair amount of time. Special thanks to Kris for a wonderful job
Lea Harvey
May 25, 2022.
I had a great experience with the team at Cohen & Cohen. From my intake attorney, Adam, to the paralegal, Bryan, who worked with me regularly for months to document and prepare my case, to Jill, the attorney who secured my settlement, I feel fortunate to have had their representation and expertise on my side.
Cameron Galloway (HustleDaGod)
May 19, 2022.
Kris was phenomenal. Spectacular communication & knowledge in regards to my case. Would definitely return if I needed more legal services. 100% definitely recommend.

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