$3.6 million verdict plus interest for delay in diagnosing breast cancer

A Boston jury awarded $3.6 million to the family of a 54-year-old woman who died following a two-year delay in the diagnosis of her breast cancer. For more than two years, the woman’s gynecologist had dismissed a thickened area in her breast as benign fibrocystic disease. Despite the palpable abnormality in her breast, he relied on a negative mammogram—which has a known error rate of 10-20%–to rule out breast cancer. By the time the mass was finally biopsied, the cancer had become incurable, spreading to the woman’s lungs and brain. She left a husband and five children.