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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My question pertains to either a medical negligence, or malpractice.

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My question pertains to either a medical negligence, or malpractice. A bit of history first this past year. My mother in law (89) had passed away this past Dec 2012. She had fallen and broken her hip on Sept 19. Followed by a stroke on Nov 5, while recovering at my brother in laws from hip surgery. After about a week of searching for the cause of her stroke, they found she had Cancer all through her and including her brain....

I'll try to make this as short as possible.

So this is where the negligence question comes in, back in Sept 2009 I took her for her annual mammogram. It showed abnormality. The following day we went back to the facility for an ultrasound which confirmed an abnormal result. They scheduled a biopsy the following third day. After a week of not receiving a call with her results, my sister in law (an RN) called the office of mom's physician. The office personnel told her the results were negative.

5 months went by till our next appointment on Feb 2010 with the physician. We discussed her memory problems among a few other medical concerns that come with age. Never once while thumbing through her files had he mentioned anything about the prior health concern of the biopsy, and we didn't ask cause we thought we knew the result was negative and had no further concerns.

June 2010 comes, 9 months since her biopsy. My sister in law (RN), who has a work relationship with the Dr through the hospital, receives a phone call on the 28th. He starts by telling her how sorry he doesn't know how he missed it, and he takes full responsibility but.....Mom's biopsy was Malignent and he wants her to immmediately see a surgeon. July 1st we seen the surgeon and he recommended immediate radical breast removal.

The procedure was on July 6th and went well. They found it to be a slow growing cancer, and her nodes to be clear so no dissection. No chemo, no radiation followed any of this.

So my final question would be, can we file a medical negligence suit against this Dr for not giving us the results in a timely matter? Even though I'm sure the breast would of been removed anyway being slow growing. The attending physician during her stay for the stroke (in 2012) when asked by my sister in law if the cancer diagnosis in 2010 played a factor at all in the recent terminal cancer they found, and he said surely so.

Being i believe Statute of Limitations in Pa (I think) is 3 years. I only have a couple months left I believe to find out if we have a case or not. It's been really heavy on our minds and I need to finalize this before it's to late to do anything. Sorry for such a long story, i really tried to make it short and hope it's enough info for now to let us know what options if any we have. Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Under PA law, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice, I am afraid, is 2 years from date of discovery of the alleged malpractice, which in this case would be June 2010. See: 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524(2).

Furthermore, in PA while a misdiagnosis is malpractice in many cases, in order to succeed on a malpractice claim, not only do you have to prove that there was this malpractice by failure to properly diagnose, but you have to prove that had she been diagnosed in 2009 when the biopsy was done that the result would have been different or that she suffered needlessly until June 2010 in pain from the condition that was misdiagnosed. If you cannot prove either of these, even though you can prove that the doctor failed to properly diagnose, you could not receive any actual damages.

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Law Educator, Esq. and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just wanted to thank you for your time. Now we can continue through life not wondering what if. Have a good day :)

Thank you very much. I wish you all of the best.

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