$2.4 Million Settlement in Death of Woman After Missed Cancer Diagnosis

When Sandra L. Berry of Juniata County, Pa., went to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey complaining of persistent pain and discomfort back in October 2008, she and her husband wanted to find the answers to her medical problems.

Instead, it wasn’t until July 2010 that her vulvar cancer was detected, and by then it had spread into other areas of her body. Now, almost two years after she died at 49 years of age in January 2012, her family has reached a $2.4 million settlement with the hospital and its Women’s Vulvar Clinic in connection with her death, according to a Sept. 27 story in The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News.

Berry’s family had argued that her cancer was diagnosed too late by the medical center’s staff, the story reported. “Berry’s husband, Robert, argued that his wife’s vulvar cancer was initially misdiagnosed. He said her gynecologist referred her to the medical center’s Women’s Vulvar Clinic in October 2008 with a recommendation that she undergo a biopsy to determine whether she was afflicted with cancer.”

Instead, however, a biopsy was not done, according to the victim’s husband, and “a nurse at the clinic told his wife that her symptoms and the chronic pain and discomfort she was experiencing didn’t indicate cancer,” the story reported. “Berry said that for nearly two years, his wife’s condition persisted, and she continued to seek treatment at the clinic, where she was placed on antibiotics.”

When a biopsy was finally ordered in July 2010, her cancer was ultimately detected, the story reported. “Sandra Berry then underwent surgeries and chemotherapy, but learned the cancer had spread to her liver and possibly her bones, the settlement petition states. It states that she finally succumbed to invasive Paget’s disease and metastic disease.”

Under the settlement, the hospital did not admit to any liability in the case, the paper reported. The judge in the case denied a request by both parties to seal the case and its settlement.

This case is particularly tragic because of the length of time it took for Berry to finally receive treatment for her illness. It reaffirms the need for patients and their families to be ever vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.

That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a medical malpractice or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.