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Home / Virginia Medical Law Alert / VA radiologist missed abnormal mass, invasive breast cancer — $1M settlement

VA radiologist missed abnormal mass, invasive breast cancer — $1M settlement

Type of action: Medical malpractice

Injuries alleged: Delayed diagnosis of breast cancer

Name of case: Mann v. United States

Court: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division

Case no.: 3:22-cv-181-JAG

Date resolved: 12/6/2022

Demand: $1,500,000


Offer: $800,000

Verdict or settlement: Settlement

Amount: $1,000,000

Attorneys for plaintiff (and city): Brewster S. Rawls and Glen H. Sturtevant, Richmond


Description of case: The medical care at issue took place at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond. The plaintiff reported a palpable lump in her left breast to her VA medical provider in December 2019. Only a screening mammogram was ordered, however. The mammogram was read as normal by the VA radiologist. The lump grew, and the plaintiff reported the development to her VA medical provider. A diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound were performed in June 2020, which revealed an abnormal mass. High-grade invasive mammary carcinoma was subsequently diagnosed, requiring rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, which unfortunately have not prevented metastasis of the cancer. On subsequent review, the December 2019 mammogram clearly showed the abnormal mass that had been missed by the VA radiologist, which resulted in a delay in diagnosis and treatment of the plaintiff’s breast cancer, leading to the development of an advanced and sizeable tumor and increasing the risk of death to the plaintiff and requiring her to undergo more invasive treatments. Plaintiff’s radiology experts opined that the standard of care required both defendant radiologists to properly interpret the CT scan as showing a life-threatening active arterial bleed, that the standard of care required the defendant IR to recommend an angiogram be performed to determine the source of the bleeding and that the defendants were required to know that an arterial bleed, or even a bleed from the external iliac vein, would not stop on its own and would require a procedure to stop the bleeding. Plaintiff’s experts opined that a procedure to stop the bleeding would have been successful and saved the patient’s life.

Plaintiff’s law firm provided case information.