Woman Suffers Mastectomy after Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnosis

A simple last-name mix-up has caused a woman’s test results to be lost for over a year, resulting in a delayed cancer diagnosis in Virginia Beach.

A few days after 59-year-old Peggy Kidwell attended her regular physical and mammogram, she got a letter saying that her pap screening results were normal. She never received any follow-up about her mammogram, so she assumed it was normal as well.

Unfortunately, the mammogram results contained vital information: Kidwell had breast cancer.

The results went unreported because they were sent to the wrong doctor: there was an orthopedic surgeon at the same medical center with the same last name as Kidwell's gynecologist. The folder containing Kidwell’s mammogram results sat on his desk for a year—until it was tracked down at Kidwell’s next yearly appointment.

The doctor administering her physical informed Kidwell of the mistake, and told her she needed to undergo breast cancer treatment immediately. The delay had given the cancer time to spread to her chest wall, and Kidwell would need a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

When the cancer reappeared the next year, Kidwell underwent a mastectomy.

While there is no way to tell if the delay made a difference in her case, the sheer magnitude of the error was cause for compensation: Kidwell sued and won her medical malpractice lawsuit.

If someone you love has been the victim of a delayed diagnosis in DC, get advice from an experienced Fairfax medical malpractice lawyer. Call Shevlin Smith today at (703) 721-4233 for a free consultation.


The Shevlin smith difference

  • Serving Virginia & D.C. Since 1986

    Our firm has earned a reputation as a top personal injury and medical malpractice firm. We have the ability to give your case the representation and attention it needs and deserves.

  • Trial-Tested Attorneys

    We believe the fight isn’t over until you are fully satisfied. While we always strive to resolve our clients’ cases, we are prepared to pursue litigation if necessary.

  • Honest & Personalized Attention

    From the moment you call us, our team provides you with a straightforward and personalized assessment that focuses on the unique details of your case.

  • Experienced & Dedicated Counsel

    Shevlin Smith has over 130 years of combined legal experience and we have the tools and resources to effectively advocate on your behalf.

Experience Matters. 
Rely On Ours.

Free & Confidential Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.