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Virginia Woman Wins Lawsuit After Treatment for Nonexistent Cancer

Published on 07/19/2013 -

By

A Virginia resident has won a personal injury lawsuit against a doctor who treated her for cancer, despite the unfortunate fact that she wasn’t actually ill, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle.

The woman, Herlinda Garcia, reportedly received $367,500 in damages from a Victoria County jury after convincing the jury that her medical malpractice lawsuit warranted a large amount of injury compensation.

Doctor Treated Patient for Cancer That Never Existed

According to reports, Dr. Ahmad Qadri, who has since passed away, diagnosed Garcia with Stage IV terminal breast cancer in 2009.

Devastated by the diagnosis, Garcia, who is the mother of four children, gave away all her belongings, made an agreement with a hospice worker to care for her at home, and received chemotherapy treatments for seven months.

Sources say Garcia had to be placed on anxiety medication to cope with the stress of the experience, which resulted in the loss of her hair and an inordinate amount of physical and mental pain.

Garcia, a 54-year-old process worker, said the entire experience was “like a mourning process” and that she felt like she was “mourning for my family.” The problem, however, was that Garcia didn’t have breast cancer.

According to sources, Garcia had surgery in 2009 to remove a benign tumor from her left breast, so she wasn’t terribly surprised when Qadri, her oncologist, diagnosed her with cancer one month after the surgery.

But sources say Qadri misinterpreted a PET/CT scan and concluded that Garcia had enlarged lymph nodes, which wasn’t true.

Months into treatment, a doctor at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center conducted another examination, and discovered that Garcia “had been cancer free since the April 2009 mastectomy and that all of Dr. Qadri's treatment had been unnecessary,” according to Garcia’s lawsuit.

Patient Wrongly Treated for Cancer Receives Large Verdict

The jury in Garcia’s case sided with her and her personal injury lawyer, giving the mother of four $367,500 in medical malpractice damages, sources say.

Sources note, however, that the award will likely be lowered to $250,000, as Virginia state law mandates that damages in such cases cannot exceed a quarter of a million dollars.

The lawsuit was also complicated by the fact that Qadri died earlier this spring, although Garcia will likely be able to receive compensation from his estate, sources anticipate.

Garcia says, though, that no amount of money “is ever going to cover what I went through.” She also said she “didn’t hate” Qadri but also said she feels that “the patient trusts the doctor, and they need to take that extra effort to read things a little closer so a mistake like this isn't made."

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