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$1,000,000 Settlement for Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer

SUITS & DEALS – February 28, 2000

McGann v. Wold: A Red Bank radiologist’s insurer agreed on Feb. 17 to pay $1 million to settle a claim that he misread a mammogram, causing a delay in a patient’s cancer diagnosis, the plaintiff’s counsel says.

His attorney says the evidence showed that the early stages of cancer were detectable on a mammogram taken of his client, Eileen McGann, in February 1994, but the disease wasn’t diagnosed until a lump was found in November 1995.

She then underwent surgery and chemical and radiation therapy, but surgery alone would have cured her had it been performed earlier, and the chance of a recurrence is now greater, his attorney says.

Defense lawyer Thomas Leyhane, staff counsel for Medical Inter-Insurance Exchange of Lawrenceville, did not return phone calls last week, but his attorney says the defense had prepared evidence that no warning of cancer appeared on the mammogram read by the defendant, Robert Wold, of Red Bank Radiology.

His attorney says that he asked for $1 million at the outset and rejected offers of $250,00 and $900,00.

The matter was settled at the opening of a trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul Chaiet.

Reprinted with permission from the New Jersey Law Journal, February 28, 2000 by American Lawyer Media, L.P.