Skip to main content

What is the measure of damages in florida for a reduction in lifespan due to failure to diagnose cancer?

West Palm Beach, FL |

my mom, 73 years young, is the victim of medical malpractice. she had colon cancer that went undiagnosed for about two years, despite her symptoms, which include anemia, fainting spells, cramps, pains, etc. the doctors failed to perform adequate colonoscopies, and failed to follow thru with proper protocol such as a follow up barium exam, PET scan, or the like. ultimately, my mom had an operation to remove the cancerous section of her colon, but not before the cancer invaded her lymph nodes and metastacized in her liver. her treating doctor calls it stage 4. she is a widow, with two kids, ages 42 and 50. she is not gainfully employed. i would appreciate if someone could tell me the measure of damages in florida for this case. please do not answer by just telling me to call you. thanks.

i am not adverse to calling a qualified attorney, the ultimate question is really whether this case is actionable, or whether florida laws limit malpractice so much as to make my moms case one that a florida malpractice attorney would not want to take.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


My thoughts and prayers go out to your mom and your family. As stated, medical malpractice based upon a failure to diagnose will require a number of experts' opinions in order to proceed.
Secondly, since your mom is a widow and all of her children are over 25 years old, if she passes away as a result of malpractice, no lawsuit based upon her wrongful death can be pursued. This is a terrible law passed by the florida Legislature for the sole purpose of keeping malpractice claims , and insurance premiums down.

You and your Mom need to have a frank discussion with her present physicians concerning her condition and life expectancy. Should the doctor indicate she still has years to live, you may wish to contact a l med mal attorney and have your mother proceed in her own name. Should the answer be not so good, you should still file a complaint with the Florida Dept of Health against the offending doctor(s).

Good luck,

Robert E. Heyman, Esq


First, you are in the worst state in the nation for med mal claims, its horrific really. Second, an expert hired by a lawyer would determine reduction of lifespan, not the lawyer.

Click on the name of the lawyer answering your question to see their profile, and then you can click the view website tab to find out detailed information on your personal injury topic. The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.


I can't answer by just telling you to call me because I do not practice in Florida. At the same time I can answer based on many years of litigation experience. The failure to diagnose case will require two experts. One will determine whether and how the medical care has fallen below the average standard of care. The second would be looking at the individual factors of your mom's life to assist the jury to determine the measure of damages. It is not a simple calculation and is in fact different in each case. If you are adverse to calling a qualified experienced attorney, then the University of Miami School of Law has an excellent law library. Ask the librarian to direct you to jury verdict research and also to economic damages in personal injury litigation.

I truly wish you the best.

If you find my answer helpful, please click the ‘thumbs-up’ tab below. Thank you.

This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies. In the event that you have follow up questions, please post them directly on this site. This does not create an attorney-client relationship and the attorney does not read unsolicited emails. Thank You.

Get Avvo’s 3-part personal injury email series

A roundup of the best tips and legal advice.

Personal injury topics

Recommended articles about Personal injury

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer