MISDIAGNOSED BREAST CANCER
Lathrop v. Healthcare Partners Medical Group
San Francisco Superior Court
Terry Lathrop, who had a misdiagnosed breast cancer, and her husband were awarded nearly $2.7 million by a San Francisco jury. The Lathrop case is unusual because the trial court refused to apply the $250,000 cap to the defendant upon finding that it was not a licensed healthcare provider.
Under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), non-economic damages caused by licensed health care providers are limited to $250,000. In the Lathrop case, the trial court determined that Healthcare Partners was not a licensed health care provider and refused to reduce the verdict.
After the court's decision, the other defendants settled. Healthcare Partners appealed to the 1st District Court of Appeals. For the first time, the Court of Appeals held that an unlicensed medical group is not a health care provider under MICRA and, to the extent that an unlicensed medical group is found to be directly liable for plaintiff's injury, MICRA does not apply.
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