When PAP Smears Don't Pass the Test

Posted By Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC || 28-Jul-2015

On average, American women start receiving PAP smears at the age of 21, to screen for warnings of cervical cancer. PAP smears are usually administered at least every three years, with 5% of all American women receiving the test during their physical. Many take precautions and get tested every year just to be safe. But what happens when annual PAP smear tests get misread and test results are misdiagnosed, leaving a growing cancer to go unnoticed?

That is exactly what happened to a Cervical Cancer survivor who won one of the largest medical malpractice cases in Maine. The plaintiff and her husband were awarded nearly $10 million dollars in damages when doctors at Central Maine Medical Center neglected to properly diagnose the victim with cervical cancer. Routinely receiving PAP smears, the patient had tests that came up negative for cancer in 2009, 2010, and 2011. But with increasing pain, she went in again to get tests done. The physician then found that she had stage III cervical cancer. The cancer had spread. What should have been stage I cancer, if caught earlier, now caused the survivor to use a colostomy bag, have low blood flow to her small bowel, and caused her to suffer chronic fatigue and pain.

Because of CMMC oversight and negligence for the patient’s circumstances, the jury awarded the plaintiff $7.65 million dollars. Her husband was awarded $2 million dollars for loss of consortium. Because the plaintiff suffered major physical and emotional trauma, the jury spent only 75 minutes deliberating the case before awarding the sum. The verdict was one of the largest malpractice suits won in the state.

In Oregon, PAP smears are also an important test to have administered. However, it is more important to have physicians read the tests properly. The attorneys at Paulson Coletti understand that pain that comes from medical mistakes that can ruin lives. We work hard to combat this kind of neglect, so that medical malpractice victims can get the justice they deserve.

Categories: Trial, Medical Malpractice