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Jury determines South Carolina woman died due to malpractice

There are few relationships that demand trust more than the one that exists between physician and patient. Recently, a South Carolina jury determined that a serious breech occurred in one such relationship that ultimately resulted in a woman's death. They awarded the victim's surviving spouse $10 million after deliberations took place over several hours.

According to the medical malpractice lawsuit filed by the woman's husband, a needless delay in treatment allowed the 70-year-old woman's kidney cancer to progress beyond the point of treatment. The lawsuit outlined the timeline from when the patient first sought help for a growth on her left kidney. The patient was under the care of her primary doctor and a urology specialist for more than two years, during which time it was suggested that the kidney may need to be surgically removed.

Inexplicably, the urologist delayed planning the surgery and suggested that the woman be monitored and followed-up over a course of time. X-rays revealed on at least two occasions that the mass had increased in size with a notation made by a radiologist that the growth was likely cancerous and should be removed. Unfortunately, the procedure was delayed once again. By the time a cancer specialist was consulted, it was determined that the disease had progressed and had spread to other organs and was no longer treatable.

It was noted that in the early stages, kidney cancer can be successfully treated and therefore the woman may have survived the disease with timely intervention. The jury spent less than four hours in discussions before finding in the plaintiff's favor. The representatives for the urologist and the health care center have both stated that they will file motions to reduce or overturn the award. Any South Carolina patient who has suffered harm due to medical malpractice, or the surviving family of a loved who who died as a result, may be entitled to file a civil claim to pursue recovery of financial damages incurred.

Source: thestate.com, "SC jury awards $10 million in fatal medical malpractice case", John Monk, Nov. 2, 2017

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