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Victim of Radiology Mistake Awarded $5.7 Million

An Oregon woman was recently awarded $5.7 million for damages suffered as a result of a radiology error that caused her breast cancer to go undiagnosed.

Julie A. Joel, 58, had a mammogram in 2002 with a doctor from The Oregon Clinic. According to her lawsuit, the doctor misread the X-ray and gave her a clean bill of health. Two years later, Joel was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.

“Fourth stage. Metastasized to the bone. Terminal,” Joel said. “That’s about as bad as you can get.”

The Trial

During the two-week trial, medical experts called on Joel’s behalf testified that the 2002 mammogram merited a second opinion – a standard procedure at many hospitals. Only one radiologist read Joel’s X-ray.

The jury ruled that clinic was negligent and awarded Joel more than $700,000 in economic damages and $7 million for her pain and suffering. The verdict is one of the largest handed down in a medical malpractice case in the last decade.

“In our system, when a mistake is made that causes tragic consequences, the person injured is entitled to fair compensation. And the jury passed a fair verdict in this case,” said Joel’s attorney, Elden Rosenthal.

Joel has four children and four grandchildren. For her, the verdict is “bittersweet.” She said, “I just go ahead and live day by day. I don’t have a future anymore.”

Victim of medical malpractice? Please contact us to learn more about your legal rights and options.

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