Press Release

Another North Carolina Breast Cancer Patient Misdiagnosis Complaint Filed by G&E Against Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist

G&E’s misdiagnosed clients range in age from 30s to 60s; all were recently notified of Atrium’s “grave errors”

Winston-Salem, N.C. (July 1, 2024) – Another misdiagnosed North Carolina breast cancer patient, represented by the medical negligence team at G&E, has just filed a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The filing comes just weeks after the firm filed a similar action on behalf of a 32-year-old former Atrium Health patient who underwent radical treatments – including hysterectomy and double mastectomy – for an aggressive form of breast cancer (HER2 Positive) she only recently learned was unnecessary, according to her G&E attorneys.

The misdiagnosed patient in the latest filing, whose identity is being kept confidential to protect her privacy, is also a North Carolina resident – a mother and grandmother –  who was 59 when she was initially diagnosed in 2020 with HER2 breast cancer. Treatment included 13 cycles of debilitating chemotherapy, according to the complaint, and her G&E attorneys said she was only made aware of the misdiagnosis May 29th of this year.

“My life and my family’s life were turned upside down because of my cancer misdiagnosis and the treatments I underwent that I just recently learned were completely unwarranted,” said the most recent complainant. “When I should have been holding my new grandchild in the hospital, I was in the hospital, too…but getting chemotherapy. I can’t get those joyful moments back, but I can and will do what I can to hold accountable those responsible for what happened to me and many others.”

G&E attorney Lisa B. Weinstein, who heads the firm’s women’s health practice, said after the administrative agency filing, “Each of our clients learned of their catastrophic misdiagnosis through Atrium Health’s risk management department; they remain in a state of shock and bewilderment, and are anxious to find out what went so tragically wrong.” Attorney Weinstein explained that these first two filings represent a new and disturbing wave of breast cancer misdiagnosis cases linked to the nation’s fifth largest non-profit health care system. In the filings, the legal team is seeking answers and accountability, and has noted that the hospital’s pathology lab has admitted to the ‘grave errors’. G&E also contends in its filing that “the lab at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist presents a clear and present danger to the well-being of North Carolina residents.”

Ms. Weinstein, based in Chicago and licensed to practice law in North Carolina, was recently in Winston-Salem meeting with the misdiagnosed patients and explained that the firm has specifically demanded as part of its complaint “a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding these incidents.” She and her colleagues Elizabeth (Beth) Graham and Elizabeth A. Bailey, are committed to working with all those involved – including the healthcare regulators – to ensure that Atrium Health “identifies the root causes of these errors and implements immediate corrective measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future.”

The lawyers, noting that complaints filed with the state are subject to a comprehensive review process, said they are still trying to determine how many HER2 Positive misdiagnosis cases have occurred since 2019. “We have been contacted by several former patients who’ve been advised by Atrium Health they were misdiagnosed. One instance of misdiagnosis is one too many; based on our inquiry to date, we fear there are many, many more,” they added.

The attorneys noted these very recent revelations of misdiagnosis are deeply disturbing on their own, but additionally because of the health system’s checkered history – leading to federal investigations and “corrective measures” ordered – regarding disease (including cancer) misdiagnoses leading to unnecessary treatment. Specifically, in 2018, more than two dozen patients were reportedly found, including by the hospital’s own internal inquiry, to be victims of “faulty pathology” lab tests. In two of those cases, according to the hospital, patients who underwent radical cancer surgery and radiation were later determined to have been cancer-free prior to treatment.

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Lisa Weinstein
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Elizabeth (Beth) Graham
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Elizabeth Bailey
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Steph Rosenfeld
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