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Two previous chest X-rays showed abnormalities – $600,000 Settlement

A 67-year-old retired office worker was planning to undergo bariatric surgery. As part of her pre-operative work-up, she underwent a chest X-ray in March 2010. There was a suspicious nodularity visible on that X-ray, but it was interpreted as normal.

Because of delays in getting authorization for her bariatric surgery, the plaintiff returned for a subsequent chest X-ray in September 2010. The suspicious nodularity on the March X-ray had grown larger. Nevertheless, the second x-ray was likewise read as normal.

Plaintiff ultimately developed a persistent cough. In July 2012, she was sent for yet another chest X-ray. This was interpreted as abnormal and diagnostic tests concluded that, as of that time, the plaintiff was suffering from Stage IV metastatic lung cancer. The plaintiff passed away in February 2013. She was survived by a spouse and two adult children.

The contested issues in the case centered on the fact that, even if plaintiff’s decedent had been diagnosed in 2010, the statistical odds of her survival were in significant dispute.


Type of action: Medical malpractice – wrongful death
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Amount: $600,000
Attorneys for plaintiff: James C. Lewis and Kevin M. Duffan, Virginia Beach

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