$1,100,000 Settlement for Failure to Timely Diagnose Leukemia

Carol Forte represented the estate and family of a 20-year-old woman who had gone to the emergency room of a local hospital complaining of heavy vaginal bleeding. Blood work was taken which showed severe abnormalities that were highly suspicious for a rare type of leukemia. The emergency room doctor should have admitted her to the hospital immediately, and obtained an oncology or hematology consultation. Instead, he told her to see her gynecologist for the bleeding. The gynecologist was unaware of the abnormal blood work. The emergency room doctor claimed to have faxed to the results of the blood work to the gynecologist’s office, which the gynecologist denied. The gynecologist did a D and C, and treated the woman for a gynecologic abnormality. While the gynecology work up was in progress, the woman collapsed and was brought to the hospital where she died a few days later. The evidence in the case showed that she had a good chance of obtaining remission if her leukemia had been immediately recognized by the emergency room physician and treatment begun.