$1.1 Million Verdict for Amputation Victim in Cancer Med Mal Case

After multiple and unsuccessful treatments by her doctor from 2007 to 2008 for a plantar ulcer on her foot, an elderly Philadelphia woman soon consulted with another doctor who diagnosed cancer which required partial amputation of her foot.

She later took the original doctor to court, alleging that he failed to diagnose her condition in a timely manner and didn’t perform a biopsy which would have revealed the cancerous growth in her foot. The victim, Margaret Wilson, recently won her case before a Philadelphia jury which awarded her a $1.1 million verdict for her injuries, according to a March 18 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

Wilson first went to her physician, Dr. Peter L. King, of Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia complaining of a plantar ulcer on her left foot, according to the story. “Wilson, who was in her 70’s at the time, treated numerous times with King over the next 10 months” with bone scans, antibiotics, wound cultures and other procedures, the story reported. “She was also treated at the Mercy Hospital Wound Center. In her pretrial memo, Wilson contended that the ulcer continued to grow during the treatments.”

By July of 2008, the ulcer was found to be necrotic, meaning the skin and tissue around it were now dead and infected, the story reported. She saw another doctor at the hospital over the next six months, but the victim continued to suffer swelling, wound warmth and lower extremity pain. She also underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treatment of her wound, the story reported.

By Nov. 24, 2008, however, a pathology report following a biopsy found that Wilson was suffering from verrucous carcinoma, a type of squamous cell carcinoma, the story reported. She then went to another doctor the following month at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Dermatology and underwent another biopsy in January 2009, which turned up “well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma,” the story stated. Following that diagnosis, Wilson lost part of her foot to an amputation to remove the cancerous tissue.

Wilson sued King and the second doctor she saw at Mercy Hospital, as well as the hospital, the Mercy Health System and the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Mercy Health Center, according to The Legal Intelligencer story. She “alleged that the doctors failed to timely diagnose her ulcer, perform a biopsy or refer her to another physician who would perform a biopsy,” according to the case. “Wilson contended that the allegedly delayed diagnosis led to invasive and metastatic skin cancer. She further contended that her life expectancy had lowered, and that she had an increased chance of reoccurrence. She also contended that she continued to have wound infection, abscesses and osteomyelitis, and will require future operations, including a metatarsectomy,” which is the removal of a foot bone.

The jury awarded Wilson $350,000 in past medical expenses and $750,000 in non-economic damages, following a seven-day trial. The second doctor that she saw at Mercy Hospital, Dr. Robert J. Wiemer, settled with the plaintiff for a confidential sum while the trial was underway.

These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be 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, birth injury 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.