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Kaiser Mistakes Blamed for Woman’s Death

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CN) - A woman who died of lung cancer may have had a shot at life had Kaiser Permanente radiologists not misinterpreted her CT scans, the woman's husband claims in Cuyahoga County Court.

In 2006, Deborah Lee Jones was under "radiological surveillance" for development of tumors in her lungs, according to the complaint. A chest X-ray taken Nov. 23, 2009 at Cleveland Heights Medical Center revealed a "questionable" new nodule in her left lung, the complaint said. A CT scan was consequently performed, revealing the new mass, which went unnoticed by Kaiser Permanente Radiologist and co-defendant David Acquah, the complaint said.

Another CT scan was performed March 9, 2010, but Kaiser radiologist David Radebaugh interpreted it as showing no change from the Nov. 23, 2009 scan, the complaint said.

Jones underwent yet another CT scan Oct. 25, 2010, which revealed a 3.3 x 2.1cm mass, and was diagnosed Nov. 11, 2010 with non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma, or lung cancer. Jones passed away Jan. 22, 2011 from bacterial sepsis due to metastatic lung cancer, according to the complaint.

Jones had been a Kaiser Permanente member since 1987.

Husband Gerald filed a wrongful death complaint in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, naming Acquah, Radebaugh, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio and Ohio Permanente Medical Group as defendants.

The defendants, he said, "rendered substandard care and were otherwise negligent and departed from the applicable standard of care by failing to properly interpret radiographic studies and treat Deborah Lee Jones for signs and symptoms of lung cancer."

Jones said his wife could have been saved if the tumor had been properly detected early on in its development.

"As a direct and proximate result of the aforementioned negligence, plaintiff's decedent condition was allowed to change from being curative to non-curative and untreatable," the complaint states.

Jones is seeking in excess of $25,000 including funeral costs.

Thomas H. Terry of Madison, Ohio represents the plaintiff.

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