$15.8 Million Jury Verdict Against LabCorp for Negligent Misreading of Test
On April 16, a federal jury awarded a Florida family nearly $16 million blaming LabCorp for the death of a 37-year-old mother of two, Darian Wisekal of Wellington, Florida. In 2008, Ms. Wisekal went in for a routine Pap smear, which was analyzed by LabCorp cytotechnologist Glenda Mixon, who read the test as negative and did not detect any abnormal cells. Three years later, Wisekal died of cervical cancer.
Click here to read the full article: Jury Awards $16 Million in Cancer Death of Wellington Mom
Plaintiffs alleged that the test was misread by Glenda Mixon and that the abnormal cells should have been detected. Defense counsel for LabCorp and Mixon urged the jury to hold the company and its employee blameless. In closing, LabCorp’s attorney argued that if jurors decided to award damages, the lawyer suggested they give John Wisekal $200,000 for the loss of his wife and his 13-year-old daughter Baylor and his youngest child, 11-year-old Bianca, $250,000 each. Rejecting LabCorp’s arguments, the jury put 75% of the blame on the company and awarded $15.8 million in damages.
This is not the first time that the laboratory-testing giant has dealt with legal issues. In December 2013, a King County Washington jury, after a seven-week trial, ordered Laboratory Corp of America to pay $25 million to a family resulting from its failure of properly perform fetal genetic tests.
The Brandi Law Firm is currently representing consumers in a proposed class action against Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) pending in the San Francisco Superior Court (No. CGC-12-518072). The complaint alleges that LabCorp has a policy of changing diagnosis codes when submitting reimbursement claims to insurance companies allowing LabCorp to obtain a higher charge to you. While preventative screening laboratory work is generally free of charge under many health care plans, LabCorp’s actions of changing the codes results in consumers being responsible for co-payments and charges, which are then pursued by LabCorp.
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