The plaintiff/patient, in her thirties, was referred to an oral surgeon on multiple occasions for evaluation of a lesion on her tongue. The oral surgeon referred her to an oral medicine specialist, who evaluated the lesion and provided treatment over the next seven months. During those seven months, a biopsy of the tongue lesions was performed which resulted in the diagnosis of advanced Stage III squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. Because of the metastasis, the plaintiff required extensive head and neck surgery as well as radiation and chemotherapy, resulting in numerous side effects and complications. The defendants claimed that the plaintiff had failed to return for follow-up evaluations and that it was impossible to determine at what point the lesion became cancerous and whether earlier diagnosis would have been possible prior to metastasis.
According to published accounts, a $1.7 million settlement was reached in mediation.
With permission from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts; Lewis Laska, Editor, 901 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203-3411, 1-800-298-6288.