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$3M Verdict Upheld in Lab Mistake Case

A Michigan judge recently upheld a $3 million verdict in favor of a woman who underwent a partial mastectomy and lymphnode removal because of a laboratory mistake.

Theresa Karwoski, 51, had a biopsy on her left breast in April 2003. When the lab clerk mislabeled the slide, Karwoski’s sample was confused with that of a male patient who had cancer. She was consequently misdiagnosed with breast cancer.

One month later, Karwoski had surgery to remove tissue from her left breast as well as the surrounding lymph nodes—seven altogether. However, pathology reports on the removed tissues failed to show signs of cancer.

In July 2003, Dr. Claire Michael realized a labeling error had been made. Karwoski sued the University of Michigan Hospitals for medical malpractice and negligence. Earlier this year, she was awarded $3 million in damages.

Judge Timothy P. Connors upheld that verdict and ordered U-M to pay for Karwoski’s attorney’s fees and interest.

Today, Karwoski’s attorney, Michael Garris, claims his client suffers from lymphedema, a permanent condition that involves fluid accumulation and swelling in her left arm and chest. Her condition requires periodic procedures to drain the fluid.

(Source: The Ann Arbor News)

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