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Woman Sues Pathologist Over Medical Error

Apr 9, 2003 | AP

The woman whose breasts were removed after she was mistakenly told she had cancer is suing the pathologist who made the misdiagnosis and the pathologist's employer.

Linda McDougal of Woodville, Wis., filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.

She underwent a double mastectomy after doctors informed her last May that she had an aggressive form of cancer, based on a biopsy done after a spot showed up on her mammogram. The diagnosis was based on a lab mix-up that confused her tissue with another woman's.

The defendants are pathologist Margaret Cochrane and her employer, Hospital Pathology Associates. The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 from each defendant.

"There is no question I made a mistake," Cochrane told KSTP-TV. "I made a terrible mistake and you know I want to sincerely apologize to Mrs. McDougal for this mistake."

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