A New Jersey woman who filed a medical malpractice suit against her doctor has since died from the cancer that she claimed spread only after she underwent surgery. While family members who have had loved ones die from doctor negligence often undertake the responsibility of pursuing justice on behalf of the victim, it is not yet clear what will happen to this woman's case. At the time of her death, the suit was still ongoing.
At the heart of the victim's claim was a medical device that, according to the FDA, was exceptionally dangerous. The laparoscopic power morcellator was often used during hysterectomies or surgeries where fibroid removal was necessary. Months before the victim underwent surgery for uterine fibroids, the FDA made an announcement that there were several dangers associated with the device. The concern stemmed from shredded tissue created by spinning blades, which dispersed particles that were then passed on by the body's lymph system. The FDA cited further concern over this because approximately one woman out of every 350 with uterine fibroids also have undiagnosed cancer.
Mere weeks after the victim had surgery where the laparoscopic power morcellator was used, she was diagnosed as suffering from metastatic leiomyosarcoma. Soon after, the FDA warned that the device was not appropriate to use on the vast majority of women due to the concern that this dangerous and aggressive form of cancer could so easily spread. The victim believed that her doctors should have been aware of the known dangers associated with morcellator, and subsequently made a medical malpractice claim against both the doctors and the New Jersey hospital where her surgery was performed.
When the negligence of a doctor or health care facility results in injury or death, there is often little comfort for victims who are forced to deal with additional health issues and the added burden of more medical expenses. Many victims choose to take action in much the same way as this woman, who sought compensation by pursuing a medical malpractice claim. Although she did not survive long enough to navigate it to completion, her surviving family still has the option to seek justice on her behalf.
Source: northjersey.com, "Woman suing The Valley Hospital dies", Lindy Washburn, Sept. 12, 2015