Unfortunately, the indisputable fact of this case is that a loving family lost a mother, wife, sister, and spouse to cervical cancer. The worst part is that it’s possible the death of Darian Wisekal could have been avoided.
As attorney Sean Domnick, stated, “the orange-sized mass of cervical cancer inside Wisekal’s body could have been prevented from spreading if it had been caught with the results of the original pap smear in 2008.” Wisekal died in November of 2011 after experiencing years of pain, so much so that the jury found her 25% liable for her own death.
Economic & Non-Economic Damages
In the case in question, both economic and non-economic damages were awarded. It’s important to understand the difference between these two categories of damages. According to personal injury tort law, the victim can file for damages when hurt by the wrongdoing of the liable party.
● Economic Damages: These damages are more concrete; they are verifiable according to records and documents and as such are usually very specific in number. Past and future expenses related to an injury, medical bills, future lost earnings, current lost earnings and wages, as well as profits are the main forms of economic damages sought by plaintiffs. Property may also be included, as in the case of car accidents, though this type of economic damage does not relate to the case at hand.
● Non-Economic Damages: These damages are more ambiguous, referring to emotional and physical stress, mental suffering emotional distress, physical pain, and loss of consortium or spousal support, for example. Because they are more ambiguous, these damages are more difficult to prove in a traditional sense, requiring different forms of analysis to calculate the total damages. Emotional damages, for example, are wide ranging and can involve embarrassment, grief, humiliation, anxiety, depression, and fright.
Wisekal v. Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings
Two pap smears were submitted, years apart, to LabCorp and both came back negative, leading the Wisekal family to not seek further treatment. However, Darian Wisekal continued to experience pain and finally went to a hospital that clearly identified an orange-sized tumor in her cervix. As a result, LabCorp was found liable and fined $20 million for economic and non-economic damages. This number was eventually reduced to $15.8 million due to the fault of Wisekal herself, and then another $5 million because the judge found the non-economic damages to be excessive or illogical based on the evidence presented.
Contact the Sternberg Law Office
Have you been the victim of negligence at the hands of medical professionals, such as cytotechnologists who test for cancer and other lab-based results? Your testing results determine your treatment strategy, and if the tests are wrong, then your problems will likely only worsen. Don’t make a treatable health condition into a fight for your life, start down the path of healing as soon as possible with the help of a lawyer by your side.
If you are unfortunately the family of a loved one who has passed as a result of negligence, your estate deserves restitution. Please call the West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Attorney at Sternberg Law Office at 561-687-5660 now for a free consultation.