In January 2016, local Jacksonville basketball coach and former pro player Rex Morgan died of oral cancer after being told by a doctor that his biopsies were cancer-free. Morgan’s widow Kathleen has now filed a misdiagnosis lawsuit with a malpractice attorney against the pathologist and the lab that examined her husband’s biopsy slides, claiming that had his cancer been found sooner, Morgan might still be alive.
Kathleen Morgan held a press conference to draw attention to her late husband’s delayed diagnosis, stressing that “we just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.” Her attorney Seth Pajcic gave the following statement: “Rex Morgan was never given the chance to properly battle the disease since he was told he did not have cancer. The pathology report’s total miss of the cancer cost him his life.”
According to his obituary, Morgan was originally treated for Stage 3 throat cancer in 2010 by undergoing 66 radiation treatments, then told in 2011 that his biopsy samples were clean. When Morgan was rediagnosed with cancer in 2013, he asked another doctor to reexamine the 2011 samples.
Medical misdiagnoses are unfortunately common, “occur[ing] anywhere from 15% to 28% of the time,” as reported by The American Journal of Medicine and BMJ Quality and Safety. Cancer is a common missed diagnosis, and a survey of 400 leading cancer specialists reveals that the “pathologist’s lack of subspecialty expertise” is believed to be a leading factor in the misdiagnosis of biopsy specimens. A board-certified medical malpractice attorney can help you understand if a misdiagnosis was due to negligence or medical error.
By suing for misdiagnosis, Kathleen Morgan and her family shine a light on an important public health issue that could save the lives of millions of Americans each year. The CDC reports that “almost half of the colorectal and cervical cancer cases and a third of the breast cancer cases in the United States are diagnosed at late stages, when treatment is more difficult.” Statistics consistently show that the later any cancer is diagnosed, the lower the survival rate.
No one should have to suffer from a missed cancer diagnosis. If you or a loved one have been misdiagnosed by a doctor, clinic, or hospital, call our Orlando law office at 407.781.0420 to schedule a free consultation with Orlando medical malpractice attorney Jeff Badgley, who will meet with you personally to review the details of your case.