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Woman awarded $1.35M after unnecessary double mastectomy

Woman awarded $1.35M after unnecessary double mastectomy


Plaintiff is a female in her mid-40s who had a breast biopsy following a suspicious mammogram. The pathologist examined her slides at the same time she was examining breast slides of another woman.

The pathologist correctly interpreted both women’s slides, but dictated the other woman’s results into plaintiff’s chart and vice versa.

Plaintiff was incorrectly reported to have invasive carcinoma when she simply had fibrocystic breasts with a few atypical cells. The atypia did not require surgery and only increased her lifetime risk of cancer by approximately twice baseline.


Arbitration Report


Type of action: Medical malpractice

Injuries alleged: Unnecessary bilateral mastectomies

Case name: Confidential

Court: Confidential

Arbitrator: Wayne Huckel

Verdict or settlement: Pre-
litigation arbitration award

Date: Sept. 8, 2010

Amount: $1.35 million

Special damages: $45,028 (medical expenses); $4,308
(lost wages); $36,649 (possible future reconstructive surgery)         

Highest offer: $1 million    

Insurer: Confidential    

Experts: Kristen Atkins, M.D., associate professor of pathology and director of the Cytopathology Fellowship Program at the University of Virginia
(Charlottesville, Va.)    

Were liability and/or damages contested? Liability and causation were admitted; amount of damages was contested

Was the opposing party represented by legal counsel? Yes

Has the plaintiff been successful in actually collecting the settlement? Yes

Plaintiff’s attorney: Bruce A. Elmore Jr. of The Elmore Law Firm (Asheville)

Editor’s note: The information in Lawyers Weekly’s verdicts and settlements reports was submitted by the counsel for the prevailing party and represents the attorney’s characterization of the case.


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