Should I pursue a lawsuit when a biopsy's analysis was wrong and lead to permanent disfigurement?

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Diego, CA

Initial determination of a physician at a local clinic of small inflammation of skin near top of the ear was contradermititis. I was given meds that would be prescribed for this skin infection. However, when drugs did not affect the area, I went to a dermatologist. They treated the skin for same condition. After more than a month, an initial analysis of a biopsy of inflamed skin was analyzed by the dermatologist's office and came back negative for squamous cell carcinoma. When the area became significantly worse (including abscess and skin and cartilage disintegration) about 2 months later, another doctor had THE SAME biopsy sent to a third party lab. This time, the analysis was positive. By the time I received MOHS, the amount of tissue removed caused permanent disfigurement.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

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    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . I had a MOHS procedure done and had a nickel-sized cancer cut out from my cheek and I look fine. The cost of this lawsuit would likely far exceed the recovery, but you can have a local med mal lawyer order your records and send to an expert to review to ascertain whether there was a breach of the standard of care. You may want to offer the lawyer a retainer to cover the expert report if no lawyer will take it. Good luck.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  2. Paul J Molinaro

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    Answered . Medical malpractice suits in California are highly regulated by law with regard to how much a plaintiff may recover - much more so than other states and much more so that personal injury suits in California. I could lecture until I'm blue in the mouth about why this section of "tort reform" has no accomplished its lofty goals and why it is utterly unfair to those victims who have suffered catastrophic damages as a result of health care provider negligence, but suffice to say that the time, energy, and upfront money that needs to be put into properly waging a medical malpractice case (read as "war") is prohibitive for smaller damages cases.

    That said, anyone who even thinks he or she has a medical malpractice case should consult with a local medical malpractice attorney as the attorney is the one best suited to make a determination of the amount of damages at stake and the feasibility of a successful suit.

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  3. Marc Edward Stewart

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . Your damages are mainly if not solely disfigurement. And just to the ear, I presume. Given this presumption on my part, I think your damages are insufficient to justify the great expense of pursuing a legal claim. These cases cost tens of thousands of dollars to litigate. A reasonable settlement value for your claim might be $5,000 or $10,000. But you'd spend much more than that just paying your medical expert witnesses. Not economical.

    Keep in mind that the statute of limitations, at least as far as I know, is just 1 year in California. Consult locally for the best advice.

  4. Chris Matthew Limberopoulos

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . This could turn out to be even more serious than you think.
    Any significant delay in the diagnosis of squamous cell can be life altering.
    You must consult with a lawyer familiar with cancer cases at once. Perhaps she or he can guide you to the very best MOHS surgeons in your area.
    Please do not delay.

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