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$1.2 million recovered for victim of pap smear error

Attorneys from the Scanlan Law Group recovered $1.2 million for a 28-year-old woman who died from cancer after a medical testing laboratory failed to detect a problem in her pap smear.

The woman had seen her gynecologist for a pap smear, who then sent it out to a national testing laboratory to read the results. Although the lab technician who read the smear found no problems with it, one year later, the woman was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and she died aboute two years thereafter.

Believing that the testing lab had misread the smear, Edmund J. Scanlan sent it back to the same lab to be read again, but on an anonymous basis. This time, the lab found a problem with the smear. Accordingly, Scanlan contended that the lab was negligent in failing to detect the abnormality in the smear, and that had they read it properly the first time, the cancer would have been caught early, and the woman would still be alive today.

This argument was successful, as the testing firm settled before trial. “Although cancer cases are difficult to win,” said Scanlan, “we learned during the case that these testing labs employ low-priced lab technicians in the equivalent of high-tech sweat shops-the technicians are required to read as many as 20 smears an hour. This is simply too much work for anyone to handle safely, and this was negligence pure and simple.”

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