Utah ruling could open door for lawsuits by patients in remission

Apr 01, 2006

The Utah Supreme Court reversed itself recently when it allowed a woman to sue for future damages when there's only a possibility that her breast cancer may reoccur. A previous ruling by the high court had held that patients wanting to seek future damages must do so in their initial lawsuit. It is anticipated that this latest ruling may open the door for lawsuits against physicians by patients whose diseases are in remission, according to Medical Liability Monitor (1/2006).

The Utah Supreme Court reversed itself recently when it allowed a woman to sue for future damages when there's only a possibility that her breast cancer may reoccur. A previous ruling by the high court had held that patients wanting to seek future damages must do so in their initial lawsuit. It is anticipated that this latest ruling may open the door for lawsuits against physicians by patients whose diseases are in remission, according to Medical Liability Monitor (1/2006).

This latest decision allows a breast cancer patient to sue two physicians who allegedly failed to diagnosis her disease in a timely manner. As a result of the delay, she claims that she had to undergo more aggressive treatment and could be at higher risk of recurrence for the disease. Because of the high court's reversal, it is allowing other suits that had been dismissed because of the previous ruling to be reinstated.