Final Verdict: Breast Cancer Worsened After Mistake

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Final Verdict: Breast Cancer Worsened After Mistake

Medical mistakes are entirely too common, but not all become medical malpractice cases. In order for a medical malpractice case to be successful, the injured patient must show that the medical mistake actually resulting in harm: either harm that wouldn’t have happened otherwise, or harm that could have been avoided if the mistake had been caught earlier. When these elements are proved, medical malpractice cases become extremely serious. In February 2019, a Washington, DC jury determined that a radiologist had committed serious malpractice that forever injured a patient, awarding over half a million dollars in total damages.Final Verdict: Breast Cancer Worsened After Mistake

Early detection is critical in the treatment and prognosis of all cancers, particularly breast cancer. Women over the age of 40 should regularly perform self-exams and should consider annual mammograms, particularly if they have a family history of cancers. Detecting cancer quickly, before it grows or spreads, can mean the difference between life and death.

Once a lump or growth is found, either through self-exam or through medical screening, women worried about a breast cancer diagnosis should take immediate steps to get follow-up care. That was the action taken by Ann Domorad, a 44-year-old teacher who learned about a possible lump in a January 2014 screening mammogram. She didn’t delay. Concerned, she scheduled a full diagnostic mammogram and ultrasonogram with radiologist Bryan DeFranco of Groover, Christie & Merritt in Washington, DC. The diagnostic visit took place only nine days after her original appointment.

Ann was relieved when DeFranco told her that there was nothing to worry about and no signs of cancer. Even though the screening physician was worried about asymmetric density in her left breast, DeFranco said there was no suspicious mass and no evidence of cancer. For the rest of the year, she didn’t worry about cancer.

Unfortunately, DeFranco was wrong. The mammogram and sonogram clearly showed a 2.5-centimeter tumor in her left breast. It was growing rapidly, and by the time it was detected by additional imaging that December, it had almost quadrupled in size, to 8 centimeters. Oncologists at Georgetown University Hospital operated, finding twenty-three cancerous nodules. They removed both her breasts, performed reconstruction, and dissected connected additional tissue. Over the following year, Ann was required to undergo aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy, with severe side effects including headache, pain, stiffness, loss of mobility, and involuntary muscle spasms. 

At trial, Ann’s medical malpractice attorneys argued that DeFranco had completely misread the diagnostic imaging from her visit on January 23, 2014. Had he recognized the growth, as he should have, he could have ordered a biopsy and she would have been able to start treatment almost a year earlier. This delay was a critical element in her case. The cancer was fast-growing, and such a lengthy delay in treatment meant that her surgeries, follow-up treatment, and subsequent recovery were all dramatically more intensive. In fact, experts testified that the delay had resulted in lost life expectancy, with a significant chance that Ann will not survive as long as she would have if cancer had been caught after the January 2014 visit with DeFranco.

The trial took eight days. Despite the defense claims that the cancer was not that dangerous or fast-growing, the jury was understandably furious with the radiologist for his failure. After discussing the case for over twelve hours, they ultimately awarded Ann and her husband $680,000 in damages. A medical malpractice lawyer like  Cohen & Cohen can help you if you have questions about your own case.

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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💯
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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
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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.
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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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