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Jury Awards $1M to Woman Who Lost Leg to Cancer; Love of Outdoors Now Limited To Taking Campground Reservations for the State

May 7, 2004 | U.S. Newswire
woman reaction when she lost her leg

A $1 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict Against Orthopedic Surgeons.

A county civil jury in Scranton has awarded a 45-year-old Pennsylvania woman who lost her left leg to cancer a $1 million medical malpractice verdict against orthopedic surgeons who failed to properly diagnose and treat her five years prior to her cancer diagnosis by other physicians. It is believed to be the largest medical malpractice verdict in Lackawanna County in nearly five years.

Although an X-ray she received after going to the emergency room at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton did not indicate a fracture, a bony abnormality of her left leg was visible. Dr. Gavin examined her in the emergency room, and she visited Dr. Barakat one month later seeking treatment for her knee.

She Fell At Home And Experienced Increased Leg Pain.

Five years later, she fell at home and experienced increased leg pain. Different doctors eventually determined that her left hip had broken and that cancer was destroying her pelvis and leg bones. In May 1997 her left leg, hip, pelvis and buttock were surgically removed.

Guida, who underwent chemotherapy after her operation and has been in remission since then, now lives in Harrisburg. She works for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania taking campground reservations -- a compromise position that balances her love of the outdoors with her current condition.

"Ms. Guida's tragic story is a sad reminder that incidents of medical malpractice do occur and forever change the lives of victims," says Barrett. "She is a remarkably strong and courageous individual who deserved the highest standard of care and compassion."

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