Cancer Patients Filed Malpractice Lawsuit

Plaintiffs’ attorneys are calling a Utah Supreme Court ruling this week a victory for cancer patients - especially women.

An estimated 40 percent of calls placed to Utah’s large Siegfried & Jensen law firm allege failure to diagnose cancer, most of them breast cancer.

The justices said they had never intended to bar breast cancer survivors like plaintiff Jamie Medved from court, and gave other patients affected by the 1996 ruling a two-year window to file new lawsuits. Medved then consulted with the late Blayne L. Hirsche, a plastic surgeon, about breast augmentation and removal of the lump in her breast.

The results showed no evidence of cancer, according to the opinion, but the report noted the mammogram may have been less sensitive due to the dense nature of Medved’s breast tissue.

In 1998, Hirsche performed a breast augmentation on Medved, but did not send fluid he removed from her to a pathologist for evaluation.

A lawsuit filed by Medved in 2001 against Glenn and Hirsche alleged she had to undergo more extreme and invasive treatment as a result of her delayed diagnosis.

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