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U.S. Government Faces $5 Million Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis

Whether a healthcare facility is federally or privately funded, there must be a certain standard of care. When a hospital falls below this level of care, it can be held responsible. For patients who have suffered from hospital negligence in a federally funded facility, there are many more requirements to file a valid claim, and obtaining compensation can be nearly impossible without the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

A medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that a woman died because a federally funded clinic ignored signs of breast cancer.

In September 2013, the woman went to the emergency room because of breast pain. At that time, she advised the ER doctor of a lump in her breast. The hospital, which is not a party to the lawsuit, released the patient with instructions to follow up her primary care physician should her symptoms continue.

At the end of October, she went to the clinic where she was seen by a nurse practitioner. The nurse wrote on the patient’s treatment plan, “order postponed for a breast ultrasound” and directed the woman to return for a follow-up visit in 6 months. The patient returned to the hospital a month later. At that time, the doctor diagnosed her with a breast lump or cyst. After several other visits with medical professionals, she went to yet another doctor in mid-July 2014. A doctor ordered an ultrasound and mammogram. The results showed breast cancer; she had a lumpectomy at the end of September 2014. Despite that care and surgery, she died of cancer on Dec. 7, 2016.

The woman’s family allege that the clinic and nurse practitioner ignored signs and symptoms of breast cancer, ultimately resulting in her death. The suit claims that the clinic and nurse practitioner chose not to diagnose the woman’s breast cancer, order diagnostic tests or properly coordinate follow-up treatment. Since the facility is federally funded the U.S. government is also a defendant in the case, and the case was filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages.

To bring a claim against the U.S., the Federal Tort Claims Act requires that an administrative claim be filed with the responsible agency. Once received, the federal agency has six months in which they are entitled to investigate the case and make efforts to resolve it through settlement – or to deny the claim. During this time, the case is essentially frozen and the claimant is unable to bring a lawsuit against the U.S.

Medical malpractice litigation can, and does, keep patient safety in the spotlight. Holding the medical profession accountable creates a better health care system.

This case will undoubtedly take a long time to reach a resolution or settlement. In the meantime, the family may face undeserving financial hardship. If that is the case, they may be eligible for litigation funding; a lawsuit cash advance to help pay medical expenses, funeral expenses, and other pressing bills.

Lawsuit Financial puts plaintiffs in a position to negotiate the settlement they deserve, and we guarantee a case recovery equal to the amount of money we advance. If the case is lost, we completely waived repayment of the cash advance.

To learn more about litigation funding and determine if it is right for your pending personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, call Lawsuit Financial or complete our online application for a free, no obligation consultation.