Schedule a Consultation | Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and civil litigation

Court re-examines consent claim arising out of axillary lymph node dissection

Deborah Compton was treated for breast cancer, and her doctors at William Beaumont allegedly decided to perform an axillary lymph node dissection, rather than a sentinel node dissection, without explaining the consequences to her.  She suffered serious complications, including lymphedema and axillary cording in her arm, allegedly as a result of the more invasive procedure.  The Court of Appeals had dismissed her claim on the ground that she had not proved that the more invasive procedure "caused" the pain, swelling and loss of mobility in her arm, even though all of the testifying experts apparently agreed that "arm morbidity" is far more common (at 82%) with axillary node dissection.

The Supreme Court did not decide the ultimate issue, but sent the case back to the lower court for reconsideration in light of Stone v. Williamson, a case discussed in an early web log entry.  In Stone, four of the Justices agreed on a mathematical approach to proving "lost opportunity for a better outcome" cases, and the Court of Appeals in Compton's case had not considered the Stone reasoning.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262