Systemic errors in the breast imaging department at
Systemic errors in the breast imaging department at Sudbury's Health Sciences North leads to near-catastrophic outcomes for patients.
Written By: Jordan Assaraf, Personal Injury Lawyer
On December 14, 2020, Gluckstein Lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all patients who had their breast imaging reports misread by the radiologists at Sudbury's Health Sciences North hospital (HSN). The suit names HSN and senior administrators.
The class action centers around issues of negligence in Health Sciences North's Radiology Department, specifically focused on quality and accuracy problems in breast imaging interpretation. The suit alleges that, between 2008 and 2020, the department consistently fell below the standard of care when interpreting breast imaging reports. This negligence has led to catastrophic health outcomes for several of their patients.
Misdiagnosing breast cancer can lead to life-changing severe pain and suffering that requires additional medical treatment, rehabilitation, counselling, and other forms of care. Failing to interpret these imaging reports correctly has resulted in further and ongoing treatment, shortened life expectancies, and even death.
HSN Leadership Knew About the Issues
In February 2018, a group of senior surgeons at Health Sciences North sent a letter to the hospital's senior leadership "regarding significant concerns regarding breast-specific imaging at Health Sciences North." The letter expressed significant concerns about breast imaging quality at the hospital and outlined how they encountered substantial issues regarding the accuracy and overall quality of breast imaging reports. According to the Doctors, they had problems with the substandard quality frequency and the lack of desire for improvements.
The leadership of HSN, including Dr. John Fenton, HSN's chief of staff and Dr. Evan Roberts, the former chief of radiology, were repeatedly told of the poor quality of breast imaging and potential patient harm. They did little to fix the problems. They imposed major roadblocks to quality improvement. Healthcare professionals at HSN seeking to raise concerns in radiology and elsewhere at the hospital were subject to bullying and other punitive action. The hospital did not attempt to notify patients or the community of the quality problems.
The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of patients and their family members by Shannon Hayes, a former HSN patient, who alleges that her breast cancer was missed. It would take another year before another hospital diagnosed her breast cancer following imaging performed there. By then, cancer had spread. She is currently in remission.
The lawsuit seeks compensation for affected patients and a court order requiring the hospital to have all affected breast imaging reviewed by a specialist for errors. The class includes all patients who had breast radiology performed or interpreted at HSN from 2008 until 2020.
• All persons who had their breast radiology reports misread by the Health Sciences North's radiologists between 2008 – 2020.
• All persons entitled to claim by virtue of a personal or familial relationship to any Class Member, pursuant to the Family Law Act and regulations thereunder, and any similar legislation in other provinces (the "family law subclass").
About Gluckstein Lawyers
At Gluckstein Lawyers, our clients come first. With almost 60 years of experience in personal injury law, we specialize in cases involving motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, long-term disability, brain and spinal cord injury, wrongful death, and class actions. We take care of all aspects during your claims process and secure sufficient compensation for your pain and suffering. Our clients, whom we treat like family, depend on us during some of the most challenging times of their lives.
Impacted individuals who would like further information about the lawsuit should contact Gluckstein Lawyers at (416) 408-4252 or visit the class action website at https://www.gluckstein.com/class-action-lawyers-toronto/health-sciences-north-class-action/
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