What to do about posible medical malpractice if my wife died from cancer?

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What to do about posible medical malpractice if my wife died from cancer?

Starting out the size of a tennis ball and going through kemo and radiation treatments, it was brought down to the size of a dime. But from these treatments, multiple holes were burned between her bladder and colon into her bladder. The treatments had to stop and doctors said that they couldn’t go in to fix the problem, for fear of spreading the cancer to the rest of her body. Shouldn’t the doctors have been watching for this to make sure it didn’t happen. And could they be held liable for this mistake?

Asked on March 15, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Kentucky

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is a technical answer and a practical answer to your question.   The technical answer is that you might have a claim, depending on the specific laws applicable in Kentucky, the nature of your wife's damages from the "holes," and your potential damages. 

The practical answer is that most, if not all, medical malpractice attorneys would advise against bringing this claim.  The claim is subject to a number of very effective defenses - such as, the "holes" are a known risk of radiation treatment, your wife's injuries were caused by the cancer and not by the treatment, etc.  In addition, your damages would be limited to your wife's injuries from the holes and cannot expand into anything caused by the cancer itself.  This would be difficult to sort out and very limited.  Finally, a jury would be unlikely to award much in damages given that your wife is not here to benefit from it.

I suggest you speak with several malpractice attorneys in your area about this.  They do not charge for consultations.  However, do not be surprised if they all advise against pursuing a claim.


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