Appeals Court: Family can sue over misdiagnosis

Appeals Court: Family can sue over misdiagnosis Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jan 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals says a family can sue a doctor who failed to diagnose cancer in a newborn because the delay in treatment made death more likely.

While some patients might have no recourse in cancer misdiagnosis cases, the judges wrote that in this case the family can sue because it "has become more probable than not that the patient will not survive.''

Jocelyn Dickhoff is 5. Her parents claim they told Dr. Rachel Tollefsrud about a bump on Jocelyn shortly after her birth. A year later, Jocelyn was diagnosed with an advanced form of muscle cancer. Attorney Stephen Rathke says she is still undergoing treatment.

Steven Schwegman, an attorney for Tollefsrud and her clinic, says he's disappointed and suspects they'll ask the Supreme Court for review.

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