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Jury Awards Family $3.6 Million in Medical Malpractice Case

A jury has returned a $5.8 million medical-malpractice verdict in the wrongful death of a 47-year lawyer whose untreated mole turned into a skin cancer that spread to his brain. The award will be reduced to $3.6 million due to the state’s cap on non-economic damages in medical-malpractice cases. The jury found that the lawyer’s death was caused by the negligence of a doctor who was employed with a physician’s association. Although the jury found that the doctor was not personally liable, they determined that the medical practice was responsible for the damage award. The medical malpractice suit alleged that the medical practice had negligently left untreated a mole that doctors had examined in 1998 and again in 2004 that turned out to be cancerous. The victim had gone to a dermatology practice for a checkup in 1998 and the doctor recommended that another physician remove it. Each doctor then mistakenly assumed that the other had taken care of it. The man then returned 6 years later for a full-body skin check because he had painful boils and his upper back. Upon returning the doctors concluded that although the mole had more than doubled in size it was still not cancerous. The doctor was unaware of the mole’s growth because he did not have access to the victim’s 1998 record. Soon the patient was diagnosed with skin cancer which had spread to his lymph nodes in his groin and lower abdomen. Although he received many treatments, the cancer remained and he died. To read the full story, click here.