According to an article published by Daily News, Lavern Wilkinson, a 41-year-old Brooklyn woman, died March 7 of lung cancer. Had she been properly diagnosed and treated two years earlier, she would still be alive today. Her cancer at that time was in an early, treatable stage.
“Cancer experts said she would have had a 75 percent chance of being cured if treatment had begun when the nodule was first seen,” Daily News reports.
Medical malpractice conferred a death sentence on Wilkinson. When she went to Kings County Hospital emergency room Feb. 2, 2010, complaining of chest pains on her right side, doctors sent her home saying she was fine. A first year resident told her to go home and take Motrin.
Two hours after she left the hospital, however, a radiologist at King County had sent out a written report describing a suspicious 2 centimeter mass in her right lung. (Two centimeters is about the diameter of a penny.) The report suggested that Wilkinson should have follow-up scans. She never got to see the report, however, nor did any doctors contact her to have further scans.
According to reports, Wilkinson first learned of the cancer in May 2012 when she was seen at the same hospital’s emergency room for shortness of breath and a chronic cough. For 2 years, doctors had been telling her she had asthma. By then, another chest X-ray showed that the nodule earlier seen in her right lung had doubled in size. Her cancer was diagnosed as Stage Four disease. Cancer by this time had spread to her other lung, her liver, her brain and spine, and the illness was terminal.
In the fall of 2012, at the urging of a friend from church, Wilkinson hired a medical malpractice attorney. According to Daily News, Wilkinson received a $625,000 settlement from the city.
She and her heirs could have been entitled to many millions of dollars in damages.
Not only had Wilkinson been mistreated by the medical care system, the legal system had victimized her as well. The statute of limitations only gives patients 15 months from the time of the medical mistake to file suit against municipal hospitals.
In Connecticut, the standard deadline of the state’s statute of limitations is 2 years after the occurrence of the malpractice. An exception to this statute is the Discovery Rule, which says that the victim of malpractice has 2 years from the date that the malpractice is discovered.
This is a tragic example of medical malpractice that should have never occurred. As Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers, the attorneys at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC represent individuals and families throughout the state who have suffered because of preventable mistakes like this one.
To discuss a potential case with an attorney, please contact us today. Just remember, you don’t have long. Contact us as soon as possible so we can get started on your case.
NOTE: Berkowitz and Hanna LLC is not handling this case.