Failure to Diagnosis Cervical Cancer–Chicago Federal Jury Awards $2 million–Illinos Medical Malpractice Attorney

A patient with cervical cancer who claimed that a pathologist misread her Pap smears over the course of 12 years was awarded $2 million by a Chicago federal court jury on May 14. Fordham was represented by attorneys Jeffrey J. Lowe of Carey, Danis & Lowe and John J. Carey of the firm Carey & Danis.
Between 1990 and 2002, Barbara Fordham underwent annual gynecological exams that included the Papanicolaou test, also known as the Pap test or Pap smear, which is used to diagnose abnormalities of cells from the cervix. The Pap smear slides were sent to Mendota Community Hospital, located in Mendota, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. H.J. Choi, M.D., a pathologist who held a series of contracts with the hospital, interpreted the specimens as normal. However, Fordham alleged, the slides clearly showed atypical, pre- cancerous cells from 1990 through 1999 and cancerous from 2000 through 2002.
In 2003, Fordham changed physicians. A Pap smear performed that year revealed cervical cancer that was categorized as class 2B, meaning that it was inoperable and could only be treated with the use of chemotherapy and radiation.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against Choi and Mendota Community Hospital in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois—Fordham v. Choi, cause no. 07 C 0568—Fordham alleged that Choi negligently misread her Pap smear slides.
Fordham settled her claims against Mendota Community Hospital for a confidential amount. The hospital did not admit liability.
The claims against Choi proceeded to trial. Dr. Dorothy Rosenthal, a professor of cytopathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, testified that if Fordham’s cancer had been detected by 1999 it could have been treated with a simple outpatient procedure called a cone biopsy and would not have required chemotherapy and radiation.
On May 14, a Chicago jury awarded $2 million to Fordham.
Frodham was also represented by Jacob A. Flint and Francis J. “Casey” Flynn of the Lowe Law Firm. Carey, Danis & Lowe is a St. Louis-based law firm with a national practice. They handle
personal injury, medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability, product liability and commercial cases throughout the United States.