Late Diagnosis of Cervical Cancer Results in $1.9 Million Settlement

Rita DaCosta underwent a Pap smear and HPV test. Her treating gynecologist, Dr. Michelle Olivera, was informed that the test results were abnormal. Dr. Olivera instructed her medical assistant to contact DaCosta and schedule a colposcopy. DaCosta never learned about the test results. Less than a year later, she met with Dr. Olivera, who had joined a different practice. She reported heavy and irregular bleeding, as well as lower abdominal cramping. Dr. Olivera prescribed birth control pills. DaCosta, who repeated these complaints when she met with Dr. Olivera the following year, was told that she suffered from five fibroids and that the bleeding resulted from steroid use. DaCosta was referred for fibroid surgery. During the fibroid surgery, it was discovered that DaCosta was suffering from widespread Stage IV cervical cancer. Despite chemotherapy and radiation, DaCosta, 41, died a year and a half after her diagnosis. She was survived by her husband and two minor children. Her…

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